Phiyega laments police killings

2012-07-10 12:58

National police commissioner Riah Phiyega lamented the slaying of five police officers since she took office less than a month ago.

“One slain police officer is one too many,” Phiyega said today at a ceremony in Johannesburg to mark five years since the start of Crime Line, the anonymous tip-off service.

She said she spent time over the past weekend with a family in the Eastern Cape whose policeman son had been killed. He was shot while trying to make an arrest.

“It gave me a different picture of the seriousness the police are facing with police killings.”

She was convinced South Africans wanted to be part of the fight against crime and saw that communities were willing to help the police.

Initiatives such as Crime Line, and the police’s Crime Stop, were ways people could stop crime, she said.

Phiyega was appointed on June 12, after her predecessor Bheki Cele was “released” during a controversy over a lease for new police office space.

Earlier, Crime Line co-founder Yusuf Abramjee said: “We need more tip-offs in the community, we need more arrests.”

The system had contributed to the arrests of criminals wanted for crimes such as bombing ATMs, possessing illegal firearms and ammunition, and making illegal electricity connections.

Escapee Bongani Moyo was apprehended as a result of an anonymous tip-off, he said.

At least 16 800 illegal connections and acts of meter tampering had been thwarted in co-operation with Eskom’s “Operation Khanyisa” initiative.

Eighty percent of the tip-offs were drug-related, Abramjee said.

“We need to all unite further and fight the scourge because this evil of drugs is eating right through our community.”

He appealed to Phiyega to reintroduce specialised units to clamp down on drugs.

Also present were Minister of Planning in the Presidency, Trevor Manuel, and Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.

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