Govt remembers 27 police officers who died in the line of duty

Police commemoration. (Supplied, SAPS)
Police commemoration. (Supplied, SAPS)

The police and government have paid their respects to 27 police officers, including a reservist, who have lost their lives in the line of duty in the last financial year.

National Police Commissioner General Kehla Sitole on Sunday said police officers are faced with life threatening challenges daily as they battle crime in the country.

Sitole was speaking during the annual commemoration of police officers who died in the line of duty, held at the SAPS Memorial Site at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

"Our police members and reservists are well aware of these dangers and the risk they take but they continue to selflessly protect our communities day and night, seeking neither glory nor praise. They also on the same breadth continue to sacrifice their lives for the call of duty," said Sitole.

Police Minister Bheki Cele said the day carried emotional memories in remembrance of those who fell.

".... most of all, it serves as a stark reminder that although we are in this world, we are not of this world. It is a day which causes us to stop and pause and step back from our busy lives and routines and ask ourselves whether the lives we lead, are making a meaningful contribution to those we have vowed to serve," said Cele.

READ: Two suspects killed, two arrested for allegedly killing Soweto police officer

Deputy President David Mabuza said the murdered officers served South Africa with distinction.

He said policemen and women were recognised as rare and steadfast patriots.

"To the families, friends and colleagues of our fallen heroes and heroines, whose names are now engraved in this Memorial Site, rest assured that their death was not in vain.

"... Whilst we are here to mourn our departed police officers, who lost their lives in the line of duty, in the same vein, we are here to honour their memory," Mabuza.

"We are here to honour the memory of brave police officers who prioritised the safety and well-being of the people above themselves. We remember the 26 law enforcement officers and a police reservist who were callously murdered. We join their families, friends and colleagues, in stating upfront that their death is etched in our memories and in this Memorial Site," he said.

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