The officers found their lives were in danger and acted accordingly, says Popcru national spokesperson Richard Mamabolo
Johannesburg – The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) said the shooting incident at Misty Hills Lodge of a man who forcefully disarmed an officer, was justifiable.
“The officers found their lives were in danger and acted accordingly, which must be deemed as justifiable,” said Popcru national spokesperson Richard Mamabolo.
He said the police union noted with concern a video clip circulating on social media platforms, where an aggressor is seen forcefully disarming a law enforcement officer.
IPID is investigating the matter, while the perpetrator is fighting for his life in hospital under police guard.
“We find it regrettable that when law enforcement officers are conducting their duties of promoting safety and security for our citizenry, they are often subjected to the abusive behaviour such as that portrayed in the clip by the person of interest, demonstrating a high level of disdain for the constitutionally-mandated tasks that these officers carry out with commitment,” Mamabolo said.
He said this was but one of the unfortunate incidents which are taking place at a time when the men and women in blue are going through the worst, with many having lost their lives in the line of duty, while many others have incurred life-threatening injuries at the hands of criminal elements.
“The past months have resulted in the deaths of over 40 officers killed in the line of duty, while 876 perished as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, with many others having sustained career-limiting injuries,” Mamabolo said..
He said Police Minister Bheki Cele had on many funeral occasions expressed that police officers should not die with their firearms by their side when they feel their lives are at risk.
Mamabolo was of the view that what transpired at the Misty Hills Lodge was a typical example of what officers face daily, where police take an informed decision that is in line with the legal principles of Section 49 of the Criminal Procedure Act of 1977.
“As a union, we stand firmly against any form of brutality, be it against civilians or law enforcement agencies. We urge community members to cooperate with law enforcement officers, as and when they carry out their duties, and strive to build common working relations that ensure we collectively address the challenges around violent crimes that have marred our communities,” he said.
He revealed that the union was in the process of preparing a policing indaba that would, among other matters, deal with the causes and consequences of police killings, and the building of good working relations.