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

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  • Police union Popcru is outraged after theft of arms and ammunition at a Limpopo police station.
  • A group of armed robbers stormed into the Malamulele police station on Sunday night.
  • The perpetrators made off with guns and ammunition, before robbing a nearby petrol station and food business.

Police union Popcru is "enraged" over the theft of arms and ammunition during an attack on a Limpopo police station.

At around 23:00 on Sunday, a group of gunmen stormed into the Malamulele police station and held officers at gunpoint.

They took R5 rifles, 9mm pistols, shotguns and an undisclosed quantity of ammunition.

"It is understood these officers were then forcefully locked [in] the back of a police vehicle and after that, further attacks were conducted at nearby filling stations," Popcru spokesperson Richard Mamabolo said.

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

The gunmen also robbed a nearby food outlet and filling station of undisclosed amounts of cash, News24 previously reported.

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

At the time of the attack, five officers were on duty, Mamabolo said.

The precinct serves a population of approximately half a million people.

He said:

This brazen attack takes place at a time when there have been many vulnerabilities with regards to the integrity of police stations, dominantly those situated outside affluent areas, with challenges around the uneven allocation of resources and staff shortages at a peak.

According to Mamabolo, attacks on police stations have been on the increase.

He cited incidents in Mpumalanga, the Eastern Cape and the North West.

"Despite the historical role of police stations being safe havens, they are now becoming unsafe territories for both officers and community members. This has unfairly led to police being totally blamed for failing to service communities without characterising their deteriorating working conditions," Mamabolo said.

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

"It is a matter of urgency that the SAPS addresses the challenge around the uneven allocation of resources, so as to ensure rural and township police stations are well resourced and capacitated to improve on service delivery for their surrounding communities," Mamabolo said.

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