Phiyega must tackle crime head on - DA

2013-08-05 22:15
Riah Phiyega (Picture: Beeld)

Riah Phiyega (Picture: Beeld)

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Johannesburg - National police commissioner Riah Phiyega must not blame the recent spate of police murders on those who criticise the police service, the DA said on Monday.

"Instead of finding scapegoats and abdicating her responsibilities as the national police commissioner by wishing her problems away, Phiyega would do well to tackle criminality in South Africa head on," DA MP Dianne Kohler Barnard said in a statement.

"Police officers are crucial members of our community. [Police Minister Nathi] Mthethwa and Phiyega must account for what steps they will be taking to afford them better protection."

She said the DA would question the two in Parliament on what they would do to better protect officers.

Phiyega said on Monday that criticising the SA Police Service (SAPS) created animosity between officers and their communities.

"We must ask: Are we not creating animosity between police and communities with these utterances, which are unfortunate?" she said at the memorial service of three murdered police officers in Kuils River, Cape Town.

The officers were killed at the end of last month.

She said it was time to "introspect and think deeply" about what was being said about police, so that they were not positioned as the enemy.

Cape cops killed

Constable Lungisa Depha, 36, was shot dead on Sunday, 28 July while recording details at the scene of a car crash in Mitchell’s Plain.

Phiyega said he was arresting a suspected drunk driver at the time.

The same day, Sergeant Landile Yengo, 43, was shot in his Khayelitsha home while getting ready to go to work. He died on his way to hospital.

The next day, Sergeant Bafundi Mdlalo, 34, was shot dead in his Mitchell’s Plain home.

Last week, Mthethwa also questioned criticism directed at the police.

"What we are saying is that criticising the police is not a problem if they think there are weaknesses. But if they say nothing positive, they open them [police] up to criminal attack," he said.

He was referring to the Western Cape community safety department's increasing criticism of police in the province.

Read more on:    police  |  da  |  nathi mthethwa  |  riah phiyega  |  cape town

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