Murdered reservist’s family bereft
Police, Popcru and union call for tough action against cop-killers
THE POLICE and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) has called for more stringent measures to halt the murder of police officers.
This comes in the wake of a police reservist Colin Maluleke, 42, being gunned down on Wednesday night in Diepkloof when he responded to an armed robbery call.
The officer’s family said they were distraught following the news of his killing.
His brother, Christopher Maluleke, yesterday said they were shaken by his death, but hoped the culprits would be brought to justice.
“He was passionate about his work, because he always felt he was making a difference in our community,” said Christopher.
He added that Colin had been an SAPS reservist for 22 years and was dedicated to upholding the law and serving the community.
“He has three children, the older children have been very emotional because they saw him before he reported for his shift,” he said.
Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said a hunt has been launched for a gang of between five and six suspects who are believed to be behind Maluleke’s cold-blooded killing.
Dlamini added that Maluleke and his colleague were patrolling at a taxi rank when they responded to an armed robbery complaint at a supermarket.
“On approaching the crime scene, several shots were fired at them. Maluleke was shot and wounded in the upper body. He was taken to hospital, where he died on arrival.
“His colleague was not hurt,” Dlamini said.
Maluleke’s death comes a week after Police Minister Fikile Mbalula condemned the killing of police officers.
This was after Warrant Officer Sipho Mthethwa of Vosloorus was gunned down.
His murder followed an attack on a detective who was shot and wounded in Bramfischerville, Soweto, during a routine investigation.
While visiting Vosloorus police station, Mbalula had said the South African justice system needed to be enhanced to prevent more police officers dying in the line of duty.
Popcru spokesperson Richard Mamabolo said yesterday that the security of police had long been an unresolved issue.
“The onslaught on police officers has not been addressed properly, since the days of the previous minister of police and the former acting national commissioner,” Mamabolo pointed out.
He also lamented that very little had been done since the upsurge of police killings in 2015.
Mamabolo said the police needed to formulate and implement short and long-term objectives to curb the murder of police officers.
“In the short term, police need to work in groups and be vigilant, while the long-term strategies need to involve building relations with communities,” Mamabolo said.
“We know that crime rates are low in areas where relationships exist between the police and communities.
“But the focus should not just be on operational matters, but also on the legislative framework,” he emphasised.
SA Police Union (Sapu) general secretary Oscar Skommere said police killings in the country had reached an unacceptable level.
“Sapu calls upon police officers to fight back. We are not saying an eye for an eye yet, but we are sick and tired of these merciless killings,” he said.
GRIEVING: Thomas and Christopher Maluleke, the brothers of police reservist Colin Maluleke, said the family were reeling after he was gunned down by robbers.