Cops’ lack of conscience
TO DESCRIBE as shocking an incident in which police officers covered up their incompetence by changing the facts of a crime scene where they had gunned down one of their own would be an understatement.
Relating the events of what happened last Thursday morning, the officers said Katlehong police Constable Tshepo Tladi was hit by robbers’ gunfire during an exchange of bullets during a robbery at a petrol station.
However, video footage of the incident has invalidated this.
The footage indicates the policeman was shot in the head from behind by a uniformed police officer.
How can police officers, sworn under oath, lie in this manner?
Are these the same officers who swore to uphold and safeguard the fundamental rights of every person as guaranteed by chapter 3 of the constitution? Are these the same officers who swore to reflect respect for victims of crime? What about Tladi’s fundamental rights and his family’s rights to know the truth?
Officers are often accused of all manner of transgressions including contaminating crime scenes, overlooking vital evidence that could nail perpetrators, and lacking tactical skills.
But to do this to their own colleague smacks of a total lack of conscience.
This incident has stripped South Africans of whatever little confidence or hope they still had in the SAPS, not only because of the lie, but because it also points to the issue of police tactical training, which was cast into the spotlight following the Marikana massacre.
Other incidents, sometimes comical, occurred over the years, including an incident in November 2014 when two police officers were held at gunpoint, disarmed and locked up in the back of their marked van in Rabie Ridge, Ekurhuleni, in broad daylight.
Acting police commissioner LieutenantGeneral Khomotso Phahlane has said action would be taken against those involved.
We hope Tladi will get justice.