Police slaying 'undermines criminal justice'

2011-05-24 14:24

Pretoria - The SA Human Rights Commission on Tuesday condemned the killing of police officers in the line of duty, saying it undermined the proper functioning of the criminal justice system.

"A proper functioning criminal-justice system is one of the key requirements in the protection of human rights and the stability of the country's democracy," said commission spokesperson Vincent Moaga.

This year alone, reports indicate an increase in the number of slain officers, with the number standing at 32 dead since January.

Other statistics show that about 109 police officers were killed between 2008 and 2009 while 110 were killed between 2009 and 2010.

On Sunday, two police officers, Warrant Officer Gurswin Matthee and Constable Cannon Cloete, were killed while attending to a crime call in Kraaifontein in the Western Cape.

Three days earlier, Captain Sydney Bongani Hlengwa and Constable Zamikhaya Patrick Hlangulela from Creighton in Durban were killed during a raid.

‘Totally unacceptable’

Moaga urged community members with any information which could assist with the arrest of those involved in these crimes to contact their nearest police stations.

The SA Police Union (Sapu) said the killings were "totally unacceptable and can never be tolerated".

It called for an urgent national summit on the matter.

"It is unfortunate that a large number of officers are already dead whilst we have not even reached the half-year mark.

"The latest incidents in the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal make it beyond any doubt that this summit should be held within the shortest possible time," said Sapu general secretary Oscar Skommere.

"The summit would allow stakeholders to come up with strategies and policies to curb these senseless killings now. Sapu would also like to propose the introduction of tough legislation to curb these killings. We would like suspects in all police attack-related cases to be denied bail and those ultimately found guilty to be given lengthy prison terms."

Skommere said Sapu would seek an urgent meeting with Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, with the intent to organise the summit.

Police had to be trained and equipped to treat any crime scene, even domestic violence cases, as a war zone.

"This is too much. The government must treat this with the seriousness it deserves. An attack on police officers is an attack against the state."

The Federation of SA Trade Unions (Fedusa) supported Sapu's call for better protection for police officers.

"The security of police officers is a major concern that must be dealt with immediately. The justice system must allocate suitable sentences, police officers on duty must receive the support needed to efficiently do their jobs and perpetrators must be aware that they will be prosecuted and incarcerated for the illegal actions they commit."

  • sparkster - 2011-05-24 14:29

    Keep voting ANC for a brighter and better future!

      REVO - 2011-05-24 14:44

      We're on a ticking time bomb, with extremely high HIV + unemployment rates, these guys dont give one Sh!t if there gonna die, it's not like they have something to live towards. Sad but hope government starts to get their act together.

      clark - 2011-05-24 15:08

      - WE could also mention a whole bunch of other things that undermines criminal justice - starting with the bloody Anc.

      Felix - 2011-05-24 15:46

      So is murdering civilians OK then?

  • MetEishYa - 2011-05-24 14:35

    Not wanting to make an assumption, however is the increase in police killings linked to the SAPS leadership philosophy of shoot to kill?

      Creeky - 2011-05-24 14:42

      I have recently come back to Vote in last weekes elections and am APPAULED at the state of South Africa!!!! I cannot wait to flyout of this place and doubt I will be back for a while! No, don't get all happy, I will RETURN to VOTE in 2014!!!! I just hope the PEOPLE OF South Africa have come to their senses by then, and vote the "LAZY PROMISE PARTY" out of office, so that SA can start it's REBUILDING STAGE, TRUELY!!!!!!! If this continues, the little hope there is left, will be LOST FOREVER!!!!

      GinSA1 - 2011-05-24 14:50

      Bye bye Creeky. Don't hurry back. Wherever it is you are going back to, please attend a very basic course in English, because your current use of the Universal language is 'appauling', and we don't want you to 'flyout' without taking something useful with you, even if it's just advice, 'truely'..................

      BoneCollectR - 2011-05-24 15:00

      @GinSA1 - It's not far to come down so hard on a fellow human being who came back just to vote in last 'weekes' election. @Creeky, WTF? Get a life (far away from us)

      BoneCollectR - 2011-05-24 15:03

      meant "it's not FAIR"... ouch!

      clark - 2011-05-24 15:16

      - @ Gin - Okay professor , what's your point ? The man is expressing his views ( very valid ones ) and all you can come up with is spelling corrections and " dont hurry back ". Here's some advice - belt up !

      Creeky - 2011-05-24 15:23

      @ Bone collectR and GinSA1.... I do live FAR AWAY... in a 1st World! Where people RESPECT each other.. something I am afraid to say, has been LOST in South Africa! Most of you don't even RESPECT your parents, let alone each other! BonecollectR.... see you at the FAIR!

      Barry - 2011-05-24 15:27

      @ Creeky Chicken run

      yttocs69 - 2011-05-24 15:39

      @ GinSA1 Who the F--k rattled your cage....

  • KomboKitten - 2011-05-24 14:36

    ANY killing is wrong. even killing animals. any destruction of life is to be condemned.

      REVO - 2011-05-24 14:45

      ok, i take it your a vegetarian then. Shame because i sure as hell do enjoy em bacon and fried eggs. :P

      Barry - 2011-05-24 15:29

      ....and I like basted ribs and roast chicken (without the run)

      Felix - 2011-05-24 15:49

      Plants have feelings too!

  • John - 2011-05-24 14:41

    what about they slayings of the innocent law abiding tax paying citizens? the "police" know what they signed up for when they joined.

  • psydomx - 2011-05-24 14:41

    Well....maybe the populace no longer has the respect and fear for the police that they used to have , thanks to fantastic matrix of multileveled corruption that has sprung up within the ANC ruled civil service. And shooting at police is on the same conscience level as letting go at criminals.

  • advurt - 2011-05-24 14:42

    "Criminal Justice System". Correct - the system favours only the criminals, quite right. The problem is all the namsy-pancy tree-hugger cr@p, where the criminal has more rights than the good citizen.Too many court cases, hearing, appeals and so on. I say - just shoot the lousy bunch!

  • MaverickCPT - 2011-05-24 14:47

    Talk is cheap but money buys the whiskey....plain and simple, bring the death penalty back...Im not one to look at something with a negative attitude, but these killings(not only Police Officers) will never stop until harsher punishment is brought forward... The scum of this country need something to fear, because at this very moment, you can see from Sunday morning's incident in Kraaifontein that they dont even think twice about pulling that trigger... There are human rights to protect these pigs already, and the government wants to talk now about harsher prison terms...who gives the criminals the right to take away another persons life...and when they get arrested, they sit in jail for life living off tax payers money, for what? You take a life, then it's your life puppy....

      Harvey - 2011-05-24 15:31

      @Maverick, do you really want this government and judiciary to have the ability to execute people?

  • Benzo - 2011-05-24 14:47

    "It called for an urgent national summit on the matter." be organised in a luxury place with full security and drinks all around, ending with a resolution where all agree that "this practice must stop". Ever heard of a conference call from behind your desk after circulating proposals to all participants?? Some ordinary police men might even have some suggestions to bring to the party.

  • BoneCollectR - 2011-05-24 14:50

    Two people (forget their profession, that they are officers) were murdered while trying to do their duty, and already half of this forum is talking irrelevant cr@p!! Show some respect to the dead, atleast, and leave politics out of it. Lives have been lost, you morally bankrupt chompheads.

      Psychotron - 2011-05-24 14:53

      Isn't it called being In-the-line-of-duty? There are risks to this job and they signed up for it.

      Queteepie - 2011-05-24 15:20

      I totally agree with you, but it always happens. It always has something to do with race or politics, people seem to loose the plot somewhere along the line!!!!!!

      Meanleader - 2011-07-07 17:10

      This IS RACIAL you stupid dweeb ...the crime in SA is ANC generated because they have institutionalised racism in SA with LAWS ..... These government employees epitimise the corruption in SA .... and WE ARE ALL SICK OF CORRUPT GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES .....

  • Psychotron - 2011-05-24 14:51

    I can see they condemn this kind of behaviour but no one condemned the slaying of white farmers and killing little 3 year old white girls. Cele is up in arms about a few cops being killed in the line of duty but says nothing about the above mentioned.

  • cj - 2011-05-24 14:52

    Killing of police must be condemned, but why not the same outcry over farm murders from government side ? Police job is inherently dangerous.

  • Cyril - 2011-05-24 14:54

    Death sentence for these killers!!!

  • MacTheBoer - 2011-05-24 14:54

    Well, can we please have the death penalty for anyone killing an on-duty policeman who is perfroming his duties and acting within the law. Make the punishment fit the crime.

      Barry - 2011-05-24 15:30

      What about an off duty officer ?

      Felix - 2011-05-24 15:50

      What about the guy who sells cabages?

      tryanything - 2011-06-16 08:36

      Mac ...Death penalty for all ..not just cops

  • zn - 2011-05-24 14:54

    Such headlines! seen nothing like it when farmers are taken out.

  • Spades - 2011-05-24 14:55

    I dont recall such a big fuss being made about the number of unarmed civilians that have been killed by policemen.

      Johnny - 2011-05-24 15:00

      they are the last line of defence between us and the criminals, sure they are not perfect but they are our protection

      Meanleader - 2011-07-07 17:06

      WHAT!!!!! I will NEVER call the cops to my house to investigate a crime .... They are the most corrupt ....White and black alike !!!! Just look at CELE ...his mafia attitude is shared by ALL COPS .... THIS IS A FACT !!!

  • Johnny - 2011-05-24 14:57

    our army does little enough, with proper training why can they not act as support for the SAPS on calls and raids

      advurt - 2011-05-24 15:00

      Problem with calling in the army for domestic / internal stuff, is that the POLICE is geared and trained to protect the citizens, while the army is all about defending against an enemy. When the army therefore becomes involved with internal affairs, the problem is that the citizens now become the "enemy" and then things can spiral out of control, like in the case of a civil war. The army should NEVER get involved with any domestic issues, else we may end up with a marshal law problem.

      Felix - 2011-05-24 15:50

      I think they are busy defending our rhinos...

      John - 2011-05-24 16:35

      The South African army.. oops I meant defense force could not even contain Lesotho a few years back... how on earth can they contain anything else, even with training... they have the strength of a wet paper bag.

  • willieman - 2011-05-24 14:58

    We need to RETRAIN the whole police force,those with big tummies and skinny ones,they must start to work on their bodies if no improvement,fire them

  • willieman - 2011-05-24 15:01

    @REVO :stop eating animal food

  • DeonL - 2011-05-24 15:02

    Maybe it is a symptom of the current SA. When 48 people are killed everyday, 1 will probably be a policeman. The average amount of cops being kiiled a day is less than 1. Aids kill probably more cops per day than our criminals.

      Meanleader - 2011-07-07 17:02

      54 people killed per day !!!! I just wonder when these murderers are going to start on the Politicians .....I'll never complain about that !!

  • juan.coetzee - 2011-05-24 15:05

    And the chief of police being involved in dodgy billion Rand rental deals (like his ANC approved predecessor)does not undermine the judicial system? Funny how I don't hear the "rubber stamp" HRC asking for Cele's resignation because he is corrupt to the core.

  • Benny66 - 2011-05-24 15:10

    My sincerest condolences to the families of the slain. However, how is this any different to the slaining of anyone else in this country mr cele? Now that you and yours have been voted back in again, it is time you earn your keep? Pay your force proper salaries to avoid corruption; give them proper training to avoid the shooting of innocent people - make them a force to be feared by all criminals instaed of, as is the case now, by the ordinary (innocent) public. mr moaga you say: "A proper functioning criminal-justice system is one of the key requirements in the protection of human rights and the stability of the country's democracy," You're damn right. - but have you only just realised that now after 17 years of being in control? Criminals have since the ANC took over government)rapidly lost all respect and fear for the rule of law. It would appear that when Juiliass sings "shoot the boere" some of his fans interpret this as meaning, shoot the cops instead of shoot the farmers. Answer: Send your ANCYL hero to the Cape and we'll lock him up for you in a dungeon in the Castle and turf the keys into the sea off Robin Island. But, of course, you're not going to do this. So, suck it up matey like we're all having to do - you voted in the ANC... remember, a better life for all?

  • Ralph - 2011-05-24 15:14

    The SA Police Union (Sapu) said the killings were "totally unacceptable and can never be tolerated". It is all very well to say this but what are the authorities going to do about it? Write it in the rule book for criminals? The violent crime in this country is nothing more than civil terrorism and the punishment metred out to these terrorists is nothing more than a joke.Read this excerpt of an article by Letepe Maisela - Sunday Times 22/04/2007Our human rights-based Constitution overnight transformed the notion of punishment for the crime into rehabilitation. Suddenly criminals were no longer to be viewed as the scum of society, deserving of retribution from authorities. Our Constitution, like the proverbial naked Emperor, is strutting around on the world stage, amassing accolades, while the citizens it is suppose to protect are cowering behind high walls back home. I believe that our government’s fight against crime should start with a change to the Constitution, especially clauses dealing with the criminal justice system. We do not need a Constitution that balances the rights of murderers, robbers and rapists against those of their victims. We do not need a Constitution that takes care of the medical requirements of murderers, robbers and rapists while their injured victims are left to fend for themselves. We surely do not need a Constitution that has become a liability to our criminal justice system. Let us amend the relevant sections of this Constitution before it destroys he fibre, fabric and soul of our developing nation.

  • Thingamebob - 2011-05-24 15:17

    There is no Criminal Justice System in SA

      advurt - 2011-05-24 15:20

      Yes there is - it's a Justice System for the Criminals.

  • Lucky9 - 2011-05-24 15:24

    Its very sad what is happening. But the cops need to be better trained. Time again when you see SAPS stopping cars and approaching the basics off covering each other does not happen. Its all about the basics of urban survival.......

  • CyberDog - 2011-05-24 15:24

    Perhaps its the undermined criminal justice system that is the cause of the police slaying to begin with? South Africa is the biggest collection of rocket scientists in history, with brainic zuma and brainiac bulemia up in the front ... Your parents must be so proud...

  • wehan.victor - 2011-05-24 15:37

    DEATH PENALTY DEATH PENALTY DEATH PENALTY maybe if i say it three times it will come back...

  • Deon - 2011-05-24 15:41

    The shoddy, unprofessional and mostly brutally high-handed so-called service we receive from so-called policemen does far more undermining of the criminal justice system than the killing of police officers. If you have suffered brutality and dis-interest at the hands of the the police force you tend to have very little, if any, sympathy for them.

  • sarelvdwalt - 2011-05-24 15:58

    Cop killers should get the death penalty. In fact, child molesters and rapists as well. And ppl who don't vote or vote just because of race. Looking forward to the racist comments y'all will have on this thread :)

  • Boerseun - 2011-05-24 16:46

    Clearly the cops policy of using violence so much is causing them to come under attack more as well. Apart from that the criminals have realized that many AA cops are useless and they are an easy source of weapons.

  • - 2011-05-24 16:57

    "The proper functioning of the Justice system".......What justice system? What a pity the indiscriminate slaying of civillians and farmers does'nt rate as a "major concern". Hand all murderers I say - lets hear what the rest of the country of sll races says

  • - 2011-05-24 16:58

    Oooops! HANG all murderers......

  • gizzy - 2011-05-24 17:15

    While I sympathise with those slain officers, their boss must take full responsibilty. He has militarised the police force and turned them on the public. If the boss wants the police to be respected he needs to instil respect in them. I feel for those hard working men and women in blue that work their backsides off but unfortunately we have many that feel fig for beating up members of the public and then expect respect from those same people.

  • Monica - 2011-05-24 17:23

    If you have criminals running the Justice System of this country; what do you expect. The person that is in charge with the security of this country did not know that his wife is sending drugs overseas? He shared in her wealth. Now that she has been send to jail; he is quiet! The ANC is going to proof in the next three years that we can also live in a crime-free country. It is not just about the Police men/woman that they kill; these people have families! Maybe too many are being employed to take care of the Ministers functions and family weddings. There are too many Chiefs; too few Indians!

  • Ralph - 2011-05-24 18:05

    Just think about it. If these criminals get caught and are sent to prison they have the vote. They have TV, free medical, three meals a day, free clothing etc. The taxpayer,including the taxpaying victim must pay to keep him or her there. Prisoners rights!!!! I passed a prison near Swellendam. It is right on the N2. They were having a wonderful time sunbathing, playing soccer and whatever. We all know how we feel but the upper echalons couldn't care two figs.

  • Janine - 2011-05-24 18:10

    At the risk of getting abuse hurled at me - here goes. First of all, I don't condone murder in any form - not that of farmers, policemen, children, women etc. Having said that - I am slightly sickened by the reaction to policemen being killed. Surely we should be outraged when ANYONE is killed? Why this special category of outrage reserved for our police? Why should the life of a policeman be worth more than the life of someone murdered in the townships? Let the abuse start .....

  • Meanleader - 2011-07-07 17:00

    The corruption in the Police and All Government departments creates a lathargy towards these people. The Police have become the enemy when the public fear being falsely incriminated or arested because of police corruption . This article is a fiickin joke , blaming these killings for undermining the justice system ..... The Corrupt Politicians have undermined the justice system to move the blame .. I hope many more get killed until this bunch of criminals in Govt get put in jail , and/or this country gets run by honest people !!!!!

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