In­creased po­lice killings cause con­cern

Afro Voice (National Edition) - - NEWS - NONDUMISO ZWANE non­du­misoz@the­

THE Po­lice and Pris­ons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) has ex­pressed con­cern at the in­creas­ing num­ber of po­lice killings in the wake of the mur­ders of at least five po­lice of­fi­cers this month alone.

On Wed­nes­day, two po­lice of­fi­cers were killed.

Bheki Sime­lane, 58, was killed in what is sus­pected to be a hit, as his po­lice-is­sue gun and other valu­ables were left un­touched by the killers who fled in a red sedan.

Sime­lane, who held the rank of cap­tain, was gunned down out­side his home in Phoenix, north of Dur­ban, yes­ter­day around 6.30am.

In Gaut­eng, an of­fi­cer was killed on Wed­nes­day and two last week.

Popcru spokesper­son Richard Mam­abolo said they had seen the bat­tle for the soul of law en­force­ment in the past two years, when more than 80 po­lice of­fi­cers lost their lives while on duty.

In the 2016­17 fi­nan­cial year, 57 po­lice of­fi­cers lost their lives – 31 of them killed on duty.

“This cre­ates doubt and fear among com­mu­ni­ties. We re­it­er­ate our call to all po­lice of­fi­cers that they can no longer die with their firearms in their hands,” Mam­abolo said.

He said any crim­i­nal who lifted a gun at a po­lice of­fi­cer must be coun­tered with de­ci­sive­ness.

“We have grown tired of hav­ing many wid­owed wives and or­phaned chil­dren within the po­lice ser­vice,” Mam­abolo said.

He said the R250 000 pen­sion that goes to the chil­dren and fam­i­lies of the de­ceased of­fi­cers has been shown not to be suf­fi­cient in tak­ing them through their school­ing.

“It is a point which needs fur­ther ob­ser­va­tion,” he said.

Popcru dis­cussed these and other is­sues at its na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee meet­ing in Johannesburg which ended yes­ter­day.

Last week, the act­ing na­tional po­lice com­mis­sioner, Lt-Gen Kho­motso Phahlane, called on any­one with in­for­ma­tion that could as­sist the po­lice in ap­pre­hend­ing those re­spon­si­ble for the at­tacks and mur­ders to come for­ward.

In the first in­ci­dent on Friday, an of­fi­cer was fa­tally wounded on duty by un­known gun­men in Soshanguve.

His col­league was wounded and is re­cov­er­ing in a lo­cal hos­pi­tal.

In an­other in­ci­dent, an off duty of­fi­cer was shot and killed in Soweto on the same day.

The cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing his death are still un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“We ap­peal to any­one with in­for­ma­tion to anony­mously call the Crime Stop hot line on 08600 10111 or SMS the Crime Line anony­mously on 32211,” Phahlane said.

The of­fice of the pro­vin­cial com­mis­sioner in Gaut­eng is in­ves­ti­gat­ing two cases of mur­der and one of at­tempted mur­der.

“Ev­ery po­lice of­fi­cer killed leaves the com­mu­nity more vul­ner­a­ble. To­gether we must take a firm stand against po­lice killings,” he said.

We have grown tired of hav­ing many wid­ows and or­phaned chil­dren within the po­lice ser­vice

GRAVE CON­CERN: Popcru spokesper­son Richard Mam­abolo says more than 80 po­lice of­fi­cers lost their lives in the past two years.

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