First get guns from criminals, then police might disarm - MEC

2015-09-09 19:00

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Johannesburg - The idea of police disarming in the face of increased cop killings could only be achieved once all illegal firearms have been taken from criminals.

Gauteng Community Safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane, addressing journalists in Johannesburg on Wednesday, said there was nothing wrong with advocating for a gun free South Africa.

Nkosi-Malobane highlighted Botswana as being "very effective in law enforcement", even though police officers there were not armed.

She said while they would put the suggestion of disarming police officers to Police Minister Nathi Nhleko, it "won't happen overnight".

Before such a step could even be considered, all illegal guns would need to be removed from criminals, she said.

The MEC made the remarks shortly after two police officers were shot and killed in Dobsonville, Soweto. The first officer was killed on the scene while the second died later in hospital on Wednesday afternoon.

This brings to 10 the number of police officers killed in the province over the last three months.

Head of Gauteng detective services Major General Vincent Leshabane, speaking at the same briefing, took a different tack on the idea.

"Once we can say the police aren't armed, we are going to leave the country at risk, so we have to be armed."

Both Leshabane and Nkosi-Malobane said all those arrested in connection with police murders in Gauteng had no links to the police.

Read more on:    saps  |  sizakele nkosi-malobane  |  johannesburg  |  crime

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