60 policemen killed since January

2011-09-04 22:33

Pretoria - Sixty police officers have been killed while on duty since January by criminals who were challenging the might of the state, President Jacob Zuma said on Sunday.

"The number is unacceptably high and the loss to the families and to the state is immeasurable," Zuma said in his speech prepared for delivery at the National Commemoration Day in Pretoria.

"Today we pay our respects to these fallen heroes and heroines, and acknowledge their contribution to the drive to make our country crime free and safer."

He said criminals who attacked police officers were "challenging the might" of the state.

As part of the strategy to protect police officers instructions pertaining to training, the usage of bullet proof vests and deployment mechanisms during crime call-outs had been issued.

"There are over 200 000 bullet proof vests in the SAPS [SA Police Service]. This means we have more vests than the numbers of police officials in the country," said Zuma.

"We therefore urge members to wear these vests at all times and to treat each crime call-up as serious and potentially life-threatening."

More attention was being given to specialised training and firearm handling to ensure that police officers who responded to crime scenes were properly trained and ready for any eventuality, he said.

Psychological support

The police training period was also changing from 12 months to 24 months, incorporating both theoretical and practical training.

Zuma said government was reviewing the psychological support provided for police officers and their families.

"We are looking at making the services compulsory for members in order to avoid long term negative impact of untreated trauma."

He urged police officers to make sure that their immediate families were properly registered with the police department.

"This will avert delays in the processing of payments of the deceased’s pension funds or funds which could assist the children’s education," said Zuma.

Zuma sent his condolences to the families of slain police officers.

"We want to express our appreciation to the families of the heroes and heroines of SAPS that we are remembering today.

"The tears will dry. The years will pass. But the contribution of your loved ones shall never fade in our hearts," said Zuma.

  • Jabulaniboy - 2011-09-04 23:17

    This is a very sad state of affairs in South Africa. However the other question remains: How many innocent people have SAPS killed since January? How many innocent people have SAPS brutaly assaulted? How many wrong detentions have been made? You reap what you sow.

      Tc - 2011-09-05 07:06

      And, how many farmers have been killed in the same period? Given the reducing numbers of farmers, the percentage of farmers being killed far exceeds the police killings. Anyway, it does not seem if anybody really cares.

  • Macho Mike - 2011-09-04 23:26

    Nearly eight a month Mr Cele, EIGHT too many. What was this balony you spouted out recently about crime, and criminals running scared, while you were safely tucked up in your wopper chopper flying from A to B to C to D and then back again? You should be shamefully embarrased with these stats, but you won't be will you? You are just another politician that promises the earth and delivers nothing.

  • warshrike - 2011-09-05 02:36

    "... who were challenging the might of the state". A joke indeed. Who isn't? Their own YL, criminals, etc. Ineffective yahoos. So what is needed? For starters the death penalty would be good, rooting out corrupt prison officials (who don't scr3w on duty), police officers who can speak at least two languages, a police chief who improves police functionality rather than spending money on lavish parties, etc. It's a shame so many police officers are getting killed. Better training is required - but in my opinion, there is no respect for the police, therefore criminals shoot them with impunity. The result is frustration on the officers side and they in turn are rough on other members of the public. A vicious circle indeed. Oh well, what's the use... life in the good old RS of A.

  • tiotudg - 2011-09-05 07:25

    En hoeveel onskuldige boere op plase, landsburgers in hulle huise, op die strate en paaie, onskuldige fetusse deur aborsie, waar ookal is gedood in dieselfde tyd, skoolkinders in oorlaaide, onpadwaardige busse met onbevoegde drywers aan die stuur, onpadwaardige huurbussies, en nog, en nog, en nog? Dit skree ten hemele Moord bly moord of dit op 'n polisiebeampte is of 'n weerlose fetus.

  • MaverickCPT - 2011-09-05 14:25

    @ Jabuboy - go on what you read in the bout you put on a uniform then and try and do a better job...I'd like to see every critisizing South African try and wear the uniform for a year and see if they can do a better job...yes, there are those bad apples, but let's not forget about the ones that are actually trying to make SA a safer place to live in...and before you ask me if I've tried it...yes..I have and continue to do so on a very regular basis...I am a reservist..meaning I put my life on the line for people I dont even know and that dont care about what I am doing, let alone appreciate it, yet I still pull 12 hour shifts for people I dont know and for NO money...instead of sitting there on the couch watching the news and throwing remarks like this, try and do something about it yourself then... Respect to the fallen colleagues who tried to make a difference...

  • Mike - 2011-09-05 15:39

    This is more than the total of British Soldiers killed in the afghan war this year /// We will be better off with a war in this country. Nobody respects the Policemen/or the politicians in South Africa /As respect is earned ,the poor character in government and our forces ,it does not surprise me, as my biggest fear is been pulled over by a white golf and 2 black dudes and a black female gets out to confront me ,,,,, Scary thought.

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