- Police Minister Bheki Cele says police are in a war with criminals.
- He was addressing mourners at the funeral of Constable Molwantwa Molefi, who was killed in a shootout between robbers and police.
- The minister asked senior managers to investigate how criminals get hold of police-issued R5 rifles.
Police Minister Bheki Cele questioned how police-issued rifles ended up at the safehouse of criminals who killed a police officer.
He was speaking in Sebokeng on Saturday at the funeral of Constable Molwantwa George Molefi, who was killed during a shootout between police and suspected cash-in-transit robbers near Carnival Mall in Brakpan last week.
Cele said police were at war with criminals who were vicious in their attacks.
"So, do not come and blame me, saying police are killing people. The criminals have declared war against us. We found the war on the way...and when you come across war, you do not stop and ask what happened because they'll will beat you up. You fight and then ask questions when the dust has settled...it is a part of their plan to eliminate police officers," he said.
Cele said police managers should find out how criminals get hold of R5 rifles when they are only issued to police officers.
"R5s belong to the police. I want to know...how do criminals get hold of R5s? Those are police tools for their work. It must be established... how criminals get tools of our trade. And, should we find out that there are those among ourselves who collaborate with criminals, they must stand up and join criminals. They must choose a side."
[HAPPENING NOW] children of fallen @SAPoliceService Constable Molefi speak at the funeral service of the departed member who was killed during a shootout between police & a group of suspects who were allegedly conspiring to commit a cash-in-transit robbery. pic.twitter.com/ueqkY490Ej— Lirandzu Themba (@LirandzuThemba) July 31, 2021
Molefi was part of a multi-disciplinary team of officers who confronted a group of suspects at a safe house in Dalpark, Brakpan, who were allegedly conspiring to commit a cash-in-transit robbery.
Two suspects were shot dead, some of them fled and 19 suspected robbers were arrested.
Police confiscated three R5 rifles, four AK47s, two pistols, explosives and several vehicles.