Ngcobo massacre a lesson that 'should never happen again' - Popcru

2018-02-25 20:38
Crowds gathered outside the church cheer as bodies of deceased gunmen are removed by the police forensics team. (Supplied SAPS)

Crowds gathered outside the church cheer as bodies of deceased gunmen are removed by the police forensics team. (Supplied SAPS)

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Johannesburg – The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) has welcomed the arrests of 10 suspects involved in the murder of five policemen - who were Popcru members - and a retired soldier in Ngcobo in the Eastern Cape.

The union on Sunday also welcomed the recovery of the firearms that were stolen during Wednesday's brutal shooting at Ngcobo police station.

Seven suspects were also shot dead during a police raid at the Seven Angels Ministry church on Friday night. The church was harbouring suspects involved in the shooting at the police station.

"We welcome the speedy reaction demonstrated by our men and women in blue in apprehending some of the alleged perpetrators of the senseless killing of the police officers and the recovery of the stolen firearms," Richard Mamabolo, Popcru spokesperson said in a statement.

It thanked the community of Ngcobo for their role in the arrests of the suspects.

"It is under such circumstances where police and community members work closely together that we can jointly combat criminal activities within our communities, and we encourage such relations to continue as crime can no longer be seen as a uniquely police issue," Mamabolo said.

The raid at the church came after four people were taken in for questioning after Warrant Officer Zuko Mbini, 45, Constables Zuko Ntsheku, 38, Nkosiphendule Pongco, 32, Sibongiseni Sondlana, 32 and Kuhle Metete, 27, and a retired soldier Mbuyizeni Freddy Mbandeni were killed.

Mamabolo said they viewed the incident as a lesson that should never repeat itself anywhere else in the country.

"It is on this basis that we should work together in ensuring there are preventative measures applied instead of continuously reacting to crime and setting deadlines," he said.

He said "the fact" that there had been over 70 firearms stolen from 5 police stations within the vicinity of the Eastern Cape since March 2017 should have been reason enough to ensure that police's intelligence operatives looked closely into the trend and curbed it.

'Duplicated functions'

Mamabolo said they welcomed Police Minister Fikile Mbalula's comments that through the allocated SAPS budget, they will be ensuring infrastructural security across all police stations nationwide.

"We are equally of the view that through working with the National Police Commissioner, the process of fast-tracking the restructuring of the SAPS is imminent," he said.

He said the current top police management has duplicated functions which had dire financial implications that continue to take money that should be utilised to improve conditions of service and provision of tools of trades.

"It also has a lot of red tape which has delayed immediate responses, interventions and has hampered service delivery. It must be aligned with the national, provincial and local constitutional requirement as contained in section 205 subsection 3 of the Constitution of the RSA," he said.

He said it's the union's held view that the current structure has no clear delegation of authority, roles and functions and it interferes with the management of stations.

"We view it as an unnecessary bureaucratic level which has only achieved to derail service delivery. Stations are currently led by junior members who are not decision makers.

"The smallest stations are sometimes led by the Sergeants who cannot make decisions as non-commissioned officers. This eventuality compromises service delivery whereby there is no decision making on the utilisation of manpower and resources," said Mamabolo.

Not only does the SAPS need to strengthen police stations that lack resources, but they should further ensure they are led by competitive managers, he said.

"This will enhance effective policing in line with the prescribed ratios. We need to have stations that are capacitated to render effective service delivery, ensure more manpower in terms of visible policing, delegate high ranking officers at the lowest possible levels to make executive decisions and minimise the allocation of case dockets to detectives for efficient investigation."

Read more on:    popcru  |  saps  |  crime  |  ngcobo massacre

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