Parliament’s portfolio committee on police says it is concerned by the murder of police officers following the revelation in the latest three-month crime statistics that 31 police officers were killed in the line of duty.
CAPE TOWN – Parliament’s portfolio committee on police says it is concerned by the murder of police officers following the revelation in the latest three-month crime statistics that 31 police officers were killed in the line of duty.
Head of police crime research and statistics Norman Sekhukhune told the committee that 31 police officers were killed between April and June.
Sekhukhune said this was almost double the number of officers killed by criminals during the same period last year.
He said of the 31 officers killed, 12 were killed in Gauteng, six in KwaZulu-Natal, five in the Eastern Cape and three in the Free State. Two police officers were killed in the Western Cape, two in Mpumalanga and one in the Northern Cape.
Sekhukhune said some of the officers killed were on duty while others were off-duty.
The acting chairperson of the committee, Nocks Seabi (ANC), said: “We are saddened by the increase in murder of police officers who have dedicated their lives to ensuring the protection of the people of this country. We have highlighted the need for strategies to prevent the killing of officers.”
Committee member Zandile Majozi (IFP) urged the ministry to target hot-spot areas where the murders took place.
Majozi said: “We find this incredibly alarming, as it highlights the ever-increasing brazenness of criminals.”
On Friday, Police Minister Bheki Cele released the statistics and said the fact that so many police officers had been killed meant it could no longer be business as usual.
Earlier this year, national police commissioner Fannie Masemola called on all people living in South Africa to contribute towards building a safe and secure country by working closely with the police in ending the senseless attacks and police killings.
The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) said the unabated killing of officers was becoming increasingly troubling.
Spokesperson Richard Mamabolo said: “Moreover, this randomness and apparent targeting of police officers, on or off-duty, has inevitably increased members’ feelings of insecurity.
“It is a clear sign that these officers are being singled out as targets for attacks for their firearms.”
Ilitha Labantu spokesperson Siya Monakali said the police killings on duty was a reflection of the amount of violence in South Africa.
“As an organisation that advocates for the rights of women and children for over 34 years, Ilitha Labantu is deeply concerned about the high prevalence rate of violence in South Africa,
“The recently released crime statistics are an indication that South Africa is a violent society.”
He said the killings were “a startling reminder that stronger measures ought to be made to reduce the amount of violence in our society.”