Cele warns over 'shoot to kill'

2010-12-23 13:30

Johannesburg - National Police Commissioner General Bheki Cele used the fatal shooting of four alleged robbers in Kranskop and the shooting of a man sought in connection with the murder of two policeman, as an example of what will happen to people who shoot at police.

"May this be a warning to other potential criminals who dare to try and shoot at police, this will be the result. If people are wanted by the police, rather surrender agreeably," said Cele in a statement.

On Wednesday, four people were shot dead in Kranskop as police pursued a group believed to have robbed China Engineering in Kranskop. When police tried to stop them they opened fire and in the police's return fire, the four were shot dead, according to the police.

Also on Wednesday, one man was shot in the stomach as he allegedly tried to run away from police trying to stop him on the N1 south in Johannesburg. Police wanted to question him about the deaths of Warrant Officer Dzialwa Reuben Kundwani, 48, and Constable Letjeku Abel Thenga, 25.

Three other people in the car were taken into custody and police seized a number of firearms, including a police firearm allegedly in the possession of the man shot.

Cele praised the police involved in the two incidents for their "steadfast perseverance".

"... for putting their lives on the line and emerging from the gun battles, not only victorious, but more importantly for emerging unscathed."

He said police around the country should continue to apply pressure on criminals. "The message of these incidents is very clear, we will not take kindly to being shot at and police indeed have the necessary proficiency to deal with such violent situations effectively," said Cele.

Parliament is currently dealing with the Criminal Procedure Amendment Bill in which Section 49 could be amended to reduce the restrictions on when a police officer may fire at a person.

According to a question submitted to Parliament, there were 367 incidents of fatal shootings by police between April 1 and December 31 last year.

Of those, 359 involved suspects where police officers acted in self-defence, while eight were innocent bystanders, according to the Independent Complaints Directorate statistics provided in the reply.

In September, Cele said police were not prepared to use "broomsticks and sjamboks" against people intent on killing policemen, further adding to fears of a "shoot to kill" policy by police.

Cele is currently suing the Sowetan newspaper for allegedly portraying him as a gun-toting cowboy-hat wearing outlaw.

  • Hayi-sure - 2010-12-23 13:37

    Shoot the bustards!!!

  • Bismark22 - 2010-12-23 13:49

    Shoot them, hang them, but at least get rid of them as we don't want to feed them in prison with our tax money!

  • nicosmit - 2010-12-23 13:49

    only cops? what about ordinary citizens? - 2010-12-23 14:03

      @ nicosmit did you not get the memo ? ordinary citizens have no right to protect themselves, hence the FCA 2000 disarming all law abiding citizens and taking away their right to freedom... the very freedom that is clearly spelled out in our constitution.. this country is a joke

      ir8m8 - 2010-12-23 14:33

      yeah i tend to agree, with the SAPS in its current corrupt state, what gives them more right to protection than any ordinary citizen...i pay my taxes everymonth dammit!

      KaiinSA - 2010-12-23 14:55

      @nicosmit That was also my first reaction when I read it.

      Carl Muller - 2011-01-12 19:19

      According to local SAPS we can protect ourselves. Make sure you don't shoot them in the back and make sure no witnesses afterwards.

      braveinternetguy - 2011-01-16 13:13 - Melodramatic, much? The only law-abiding citizens who became disarmed are those poor sods who handed their weapons in for [ahem] destruction. The rest of us who went through the renewal procedure still have our weapons, still have licenses which are still valid.

  • Dries - 2010-12-23 13:56

    Why then is it so difficult to obtain a firearm license for the general public? We are also "not prepared to use "broomsticks and sjamboks" against people intent on killing", so why then do the innocent get prosecuted for killing intruders, thieves, invaders in self defense, when they brake into our houses and steal and threaten our safety? Why are only the police allowed to apply maximum force when defending themselves?

      Colourblind - 2010-12-23 14:12

      Do the "innocent" get prosecuted or investigated? There is a difference you know. I don't know of a single victim that was prosecuted because they defended themselves. I could be wrong and I am willing to be proven wrong.

      Kenko - 2010-12-23 14:35

      We are all asking the same question, but the truth is that if you kill some intruder in your home the police will come guns blazing. They will still give the criminal the benefit of the doubt. It is only for protecting themselves that they are willing to chage the standing orders.

      braveinternetguy - 2011-01-16 13:18

      Dries, it is standard procedure in almost every country in the world that, when one person fatally shoots another, a case of murder is immediately opened. Self-defense cases are classic "open-and-shut" cases. Somewhat like when a drunk pedestrian is run over (and killed), the driver is immediately charged with manslaughter. Oftentimes such cases don't even go to court at all, especially if it is clear to the investigators that it was self-defense (or an unavoidable accident in the case of the pedestrian).

  • shamz02 - 2010-12-23 13:59

    yeah, what about if they shoot at us unarmed citizens in our driveways wen they rob us.... hope they can shoot them too dead.

  • Smash-Grab - 2010-12-23 14:00

    I LIKE Cele! Now we should also warn criminals, that if they attack farmers, they will be shot!

      Colourblind - 2010-12-23 14:13

      Me too. Shoot to kill is an important directive to get these violent criminals under control. Well done SAPS and well done General.

      thobela.lelibana - 2010-12-23 14:14

      Supported. Bastards should be killed ,

  • Ederik - 2010-12-23 14:10

    One way of getting the death penalty back! Go for them!

      Carl Muller - 2011-01-12 19:20

      With this who needs the death penalty...

  • Mucaine - 2010-12-23 14:14

    The cops shot the alleged robbers in ‘self defense’, but on this same page a farmer shot his attackers and it is called ‘murder’. I am confused…..

      Hayi-sure - 2010-12-23 14:27


      pointblankza - 2010-12-23 15:02

      Oh boy another reactionary post from an ignorant poepol. It's not called murder, he will be charged with murder for an official police investigation to proceed. If evidence shows self defense the charged will be dropped. Even those policemen who killed those robbers will also be investigatedand if found to have used excessive force they will be charged with murder. Good grief man, get a damn education, you on the Internet, use it!

      Olavin - 2010-12-23 16:35

      @pointblankza. Okay, so by what you've said it looks like normal citizens would be found guilty until proven innocent, but the cops are innocent until proven guilty.

      Carl Muller - 2011-01-12 19:21

      You can protect yourself if they have weapons. Ask your local SAPS people. Things have changed since CELE took over... He is not Jacky Selebe.

      zoolmadool - 2011-01-16 12:38

      IF ANYONE DIES ANYWHERE IN S.A. an autopsy is held, unless your Dr or the hospital Dr writes death by natural causes on the death certificate.Other than that a murder docket is opened.this is headed with MURDER alternative :Culpable homicide ,or just culp if it was not deliberate. This is just a matter of procedure as it has always been.

      braveinternetguy - 2011-01-16 13:26

      @Olavin - When a policeman shoots and kills a person (for whatever reason) the officer is charged with murder and his weapon is confiscated. An investigation follows shortly. Unless it is clear that the shooting took place as part of the policeman's job, the murder charges will stick and the case will go to court with the officer as accused. However, in the majority of such cases, a routine internal investigation will see the charges dropped and the weapon re-issued. So, policeman or citizen, it matters not - the shooter is always charged with murder (or attempted murder if the shootee survived)

  • helgardt - 2010-12-23 14:41

    Go SAPS!!!!

  • helgardt - 2010-12-23 14:41

    Go SAPS!!!

  • THH - 2010-12-23 15:13

    Get The Genral A Bells!! He is a legend and bud dont worry what the sowetan have done it just portrays you as the man we have been looking for.

  • JustinD - 2010-12-23 15:47

    Yipeeeeee and well done. Put them out of there misery boys!!!

  • BigMoose - 2010-12-23 16:06

    Shoot the teds, Baas.

  • Pragmatist - 2011-01-06 18:52

    The police can shoot them, so why cant the honest citizens? The police are not mandated to protect us citizens, so we have to do it ourselves, BUT they are trying to take our guns away. The police however (remember their mandate does not include us citizens) can use their tax payer supplier guns to protect themselves... What a load of BS!

      Carl Muller - 2011-01-12 19:23

      Speak to your local SAPS people. You can protect yourself. The days of Jacky Selebe is past.

      zoolmadool - 2011-01-16 12:43

      That is really nonsense . What you have written is bs.

      braveinternetguy - 2011-01-16 13:40

      You are entitled to defend yourself, and if you fear for your life, you are entitled to take the life of the attacker. This law is virtually universal (as it applies in the natural world as much as in the human's civilized world). Of course you may defend yourself with whatever means are at your disposal, however, you are not allowed to chase after them in your car, shooting out of the window, nor are you allowed to find out where they live and go face them there. If you did so, you cannot claim "self-defense" anymore. The difference is that the police, as part of their jobs, do these things. If they go to a criminal's hangout and they get shot at, they shoot back in self-defense.

  • Carl Muller - 2011-01-12 19:24

    Give him balls, Blue Bull balls... He has earned it...

  • Mike - 2011-01-16 10:46

    This is 'wonderful'! We have got rid of the 'death-penalty' like all other civilised countries.. Now the cops shoot the criminals instead.. A much quicker more efficient system !!

  • Carl Muller - 2011-01-16 12:17

    Why sue the Sowetan. Shoot the bastards. I support it 100%.

  • zoolmadool - 2011-01-16 12:21

    Cele you' re the man for the job

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