We treasure you, your service and your lives, Ramaphosa tells cops

2016-09-04 18:15
SA police. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

SA police. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Pretoria - Deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday lamented the deaths of 72 police officers last year, saying the nation treasured the work of law enforcement.

"It is… heartbreaking to learn that during the last year, 72 members of the police service lost their lives, 40 of them in the line of fire," said Ramaphosa during a commemoration ceremony for police officers at a memorial monument erected at the Union Buildings.

"We learn of horrific deaths of long-serving, loyal police officers who are murdered by criminals for cell phones and firearms."

The deputy president paid tribute to the youngest victim, Constable Sabelo Nkunzi Manyanga.

"He was only 28 years of age when he was fatally shot two days before Christmas last year while on duty in the Vimbukhalo area in KwaZulu-Natal."

He left behind three children, including a one-month-old.

Ramaphosa expressed support for police safety strategies.

"Members are continuously reminded to stay alert, to apply training, to remain in radio contact, to have the correct functional equipment, including bulletproof vests and to call for back up whenever necessary."

He lauded the policemen and women as "ordinary people assuming extraordinary duties in often extraordinary circumstances".

"We therefore treasure you, your service and your lives."

The ceremony was also attended by Police Minister Nathi Nhleko and Deputy Police Minister Maggie Sotyu.

Read more on:    saps  |  cyril rama­phosa

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