Mur­dered re­servist’s fam­ily bereft

Po­lice, Popcru and union call for tough ac­tion against cop-killers

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - TANKISO MAKHETHA tankiso.makhetha@inl.co.za

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.

PIC­TURE: DIMPHO MAJA

GRIEV­ING: Thomas and Christo­pher Maluleke, the brothers of po­lice re­servist Colin Maluleke, said the fam­ily were reel­ing after he was gunned down by rob­bers.

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