No cop must die with tools of trade in hand - Mkongi

2017-07-06 21:57
Deputy police minister Bongani Mkongi. (Frennie Shivambu, Gallo Images)

Deputy police minister Bongani Mkongi. (Frennie Shivambu, Gallo Images)

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Cape Town - No police officer must die with the tools of his trade in hand, deputy police minister Bongani Mkongi has warned.

"We cannot celebrate the death of police officers and mourn the death of criminals," he said during a visit to Khayelitsha a week after a policeman was shot in the face at a local police station.

A brazen gunman opened fire at the Lingelethu West Police Station in the early hours of last Wednesday, June 28.

Three suspects entered the station, ostensibly to report a robbery when one of the trio shot the sergeant in the face.

Police returned fire and the suspects fled.

READ: Cop shot in the face during police station shootout

Police resources

Mkongi confirmed the officer was in a stable condition in hospital.

"I came here to support the police of Lingelethu West who were shot at by thugs who wanted to rob state property, the firearms that they use to terrorise communities; kill our people and kill the police," he said.

He was due to assess the Lingelethu West police station and determine if there were ways to make the station safer.

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula is attending the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) Congress in Singapore.

Following his return, Mkongi said top management would meet in Pretoria to table his findings of the inspection and discuss the way forward.

Ndithini Thyido, chairperson of the Khayelitsha Development Forum, said the community needed more police resources, with locals just recently calling for two additional stations.

"We can never mobilise them to come when the little we have is being attacked by criminals," he said.

"The nature of the attack talks more to us as a community being flat-footed. We have allowed criminals to take over our streets. It's a wake-up call for us because we can't allow three criminals to be brazen [enough to attack] a police station."

While the police have the responsibility to deal with crime, residents had the responsibility to protect those who serve them, Thyido said.

"We hope for a day where one officer can go and respond to a domestic violence [call out] without being attacked. The number of [officers] at the station is immaterial, as far as we are concerned.

"If there is a shortage of resources, surely these must be directed at servicing us as communities as opposed to having more resources guarding police stations."

Read more on:    police  |  bongani mkongi  |  cape town  |  crime

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