Police shooting suspects

2009-02-13 00:00

THIRTY-SIX people suspected of crimes have been shot dead by police in this province during the past six months. This is possibly as a result of Safety and Security Minister Bheki Cele’s directive that police should not hesitate to kill if they, in their turn, are being shot at, a directive based on alarm at the number of police dying at the hands of criminals avoiding arrest.

Many members of the public are jubilant about the new approach, reflecting a widespread anxiety over the threatening levels of crime in this country. Yet important questions need to be raised. Is there not an element of desperation in the shooting of suspects, which could get out of hand and undermine the normal course of making an arrest and bringing a suspect to trial? Does the cumbersome working of the judicial system produce a temptation on the part of police to take the law into their own hands?

Equally important is the possibility of bystanders being caught in the crossfire. This seems to have happened in a recent shoot-out in Durban where an innocent job-seeker on the scene was killed, as well as seven suspects. Mary de Haas, well-known monitor of violence in KwaZulu-Natal, is right to be pressing for an independent investigation into every incident where suspects have been killed by police action. A measured assessment of all the issues is urgently required.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.