I'm attending police funerals every weekend - top cop

2015-11-17 17:47
The Ralinala family (Lizeka Tandwa, News24)

The Ralinala family (Lizeka Tandwa, News24)

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Johannesburg - Police Major General Deliwe De Lange has not gone one weekend in the past six months without attending the funeral of a police officer.

"I have not slept one weekend without going to a funeral of one of our police killed on duty," she said at the memorial service of sergeant Sharon Ralinala, 44, who died last week after pursuing a suspicious BMW on the Golden Highway in Soweto.

"We will fight on, my brothers. The one who put us in this position, this calling, our God, will protect us. We need to protect ourselves. We need to do all we can to protect ourselves when faced with danger,” De Lange said.

However, police members, all dressed in uniform and attending the memorial service in the packed Dlamini multi-purpose hall next to the Moroka police station responded by saying they feared they would be suspended if they shot criminals.

Sergeant Noni Maphathu said: “No-one protects us when we fight. We are arrested or suspended.”

South African Police Union’s (SAPU) provincial organiser Mokgali Motle blamed Police Minister Nathi Nhleko for "remaining silent while police get killed". He said the merciless killing of officers would never be accepted.

“If there is no political will to deal with the senseless killings of police, there will be problems in South Africa... SAPU is not happy with the silence of the police minister on continuing police killing... this democratic government of ours does not care about police... Police, use your guns to protect yourselves when faced with danger,” Motle told police.

Ralinala sustained fatal gunshot wounds to the head on November 9 and died four days later at Millpark Hospital.

Police national spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said the shooting occurred when police spotted a suspicious BMW with tinted windows during a routine patrol. Before they could pull over the vehicle, several shots were fired at them with high calibre firearms.

Relinala, who had been sitting at the back, was shot and wounded in the head. Dlamini said the suspect’s vehicle was found abandoned at Thokoza on the East Rand and the suspects were still at large.

Ralinala’s colleagues spoke highly about her commitment to her job and efforts to eradicate drugs on the streets.

Captain Romeo Vassen broke down while speaking, indicating he would cherish Ralinala’s laughter and hard work on duty.

Ralinala’s brother Bonani said as part of the Venda royal family, Ralinala would have been anointed as a queen of their village days after her death.

Ralinala would be buried at Dopeni village in Limpopo on November 21.

Read more on:    police  |  sapu  |  johannesburg  |  crime

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