Police must wear bulletproof vests - Gauteng MEC

2015-09-09 19:38
(File, News24)

(File, News24)

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Johannesburg - Police officers have been urged to wear bulletproof vests in the midst of cop killings in Gauteng, Community Safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi–Malobane said on Wednesday.

"I visited about 10 police stations [recently], but unfortunately in some of those police stations, most of our officers were not wearing bulletproof vests," she told journalists in Johannesburg.

"We have engaged with a number of them and indicated the importance of wearing a bulletproof vest. You don't wear a safety belt because you don't want to get caught by metro police. You wear a safety belt to be safe."

The provincial police office had circulated a new station order emphasising the importance of wearing a bulletproof vest.

The briefing was held shortly after two police officers were shot and killed in Dobsonville, Soweto. The first officer died on the scene and the second died later in hospital.

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

Gauteng head of detective services Major-General Vincent Leshabane agreed with the MEC's sentiment at the same briefing. 

"It is stated in police standing orders every policemen that wants to report [for] duty must have their bullet proof vest," he said, adding steps would be taken against those who failed to do so. 

Nkosi-Malobane said she had met the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) over the weekend where she had raised the matter. She would do the same in a coming meeting with the South African Policing Union. 

Separately, the MEC and other officials would meet Police Minister Nathi Nhleko on Friday. Agenda items included police killings and implementing a possible gun amnesty.

"Maybe we should ask people to come forward and surrender their illegal guns or even legal guns. That announcement can only be done [by] national government and I'm sure after Friday, we will be able to give a positive response on that issue," Nkosi-Malobane said.

Read more on:    sizakele nkosi-malobane  |  johannesburg

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