'Declare police station attacks treason' - union demands after arms theft at Limpopo police station

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  • A police union has called for attacks on police stations to be declared treason.
  • The call follows an attack on a Limpopo police station.
  • Attacks on police stations are becoming "a norm to criminals", the union said.

The South African Policing Union (SAPU) says attacks on police offers are "crimes against the state" and it wants President Cyril Ramaphosa to declare them acts of treason.

The police union condemned the latest attack, in which police officers were held hostage at a Limpopo police station.

News24 previously reported that a group of armed men stormed into the Malamulele police station at around 23:00 on Sunday and held officers at gunpoint in the Community Service Centre (CSC).

WATCH | Gunmen storm Limpopo police station, steal guns and ammunition

SAPU spokesperson Lesiba Thobakgale said:

It is clear that the attacks on police stations have become a norm to criminals as they are committing crime without hesitation.

The union referred to two other incidents – the theft of firearms and ammunition from a police station in the Northern Cape in August, and an attack on the Sir Lowry's satellite police station in the Western Cape being attacked in October.

"The firearms and ammunition that are taken from police stations are not just used for safekeeping, but to commit robberies, murders and other brutal related crimes by perpetrators, as it happened at the Malamulele police station, where the criminals went and robbed a filling station after robbing the police station," Thobakgale said.

At around 23:00 on Sunday, a group of armed suspec
At around 23:00 on Sunday, a group of armed suspects stormed the Malamulele Police Station and held members at gunpoint in the Community Service Centre

Thobakgale added that crime statistics showed that 23 police officers were killed in the second quarter of the year.

"Taking into consideration the high rate of police station attacks, we are calling on the president to join this call we have been long making and [to] also declare police station attacks treason, as firearms and ammunition taken from these attacks are used to violate and kill the police and members of society."

READ | Popcru 'enraged' by attack on Limpopo police station, calls for better resourcing of rural cops

On Monday, fellow union Popcru said it was enraged by the theft of arms and ammunition from police officers.

Popcru spokesperson Richard Mamabolo told News24 that there had been attacks on police stations in Mpumalanga, the Eastern Cape and the North West.

The union called for the restructuring of the police service to improve working conditions and to ensure the fair allocation of resources.

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