Police killings an attack on the State - Zuma

2015-09-06 22:10
SAPS Memorial service Pretoria. (Thomas Hartleb, News24)

SAPS Memorial service Pretoria. (Thomas Hartleb, News24)

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Pretoria - Police killings are an attack on the State and must be brought to an end, President Jacob Zuma said on Sunday. 

“The callous murder of your loved ones was an attack not only on them, but on the State itself. The police represent the authority of the State. They form the bulwark between order and anarchy,” he told a ceremony at the Union Buildings to remember the officers killed since April last year.

Hundreds of officers and the families of those killed were present.

Zuma said stringent measures are needed to ensure the safety of officers and the public. Gun-wielding men hellbent on causing havoc cannot be allowed to threaten the State, he said.

“I have directed the minister of police to do everything possible to provide the police with the tools they need to fight crime effectively - and to protect themselves,” he said.

A national tactical response plan has been developed to respond effectively to the murders of police officers. All commanders have been instructed to implement it and ensure compliance with SAPS' directives and standing orders, especially those that relate to the safety and wellbeing of officers.

Zuma said it is necessary to hold on- and off-duty parades to ensure that officers have the necessary safety gear and equipment, including bulletproof vests.

He called on South Africans to work with the police to create safer communities, to stop protecting criminals and to report crime.

The only reason crime persists is that there is a market for stolen goods, Zuma said.

A total of 86 police officers were killed in the 2014/2015 financial year - from April 1 last year to the end of March this year.

Between January 1 and August 24 this year, 58 officers were killed - 27 on duty and 31 off duty - according to police statistics.

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