The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) is distraught over continuous reports of police killings that have been on the rise in our country, with the latest victims being two police officers who sustained gunshot wounds to their heads while doing a routine Crime Prevention duties in the early hours of this morning in Bloekombos, Kraaifontein in the Western Cape.
Their two firearms and a cell phone went missing, while 9 cartridges were found on the scene.
These senseless killings take place just after the cowardice shooting of two Pietermaritzburg police officers, Sergeants Makhosazane Mdlangathi and Mfikelwa Mtolo died in a hail of bullets last Saturday after being ambushed by gunmen, while another officer, Constable Ndlovu, who is being buried today, was also fatally wounded after responding to a domestic abuse complaint in Chatsworth.
The issue of police killings is of serious concern, and can no longer be overlooked, and therefore requires communities to also fully participate in jointly ensuring the safety if our residential areas.
Part of the problem can be attributed to the challenges of understaffing and the uneven allocation of resources to these men and women in blue; therefore having to stretch their operations across a broader number of community populations in smaller groups, increasing their likelihood of being attacked.
These and other escalating violent trends against our men and women in blue have not only adversely affected individual police officers, but are meant at generating fear and lawlessness throughout our society. These attempts must be nipped in the bud, and the best possible way can be through working on improving community-policing relations.
It is a challenge that will continue if no urgent action is taken in ensuring more boots on the ground, and we call on police officers to remain vigilant, and to act decisively in the case they come across such ill-intended people who have developed the audacity to raise firearms at them, but also to take precautionary measures when carrying out their work, especially within the environments they patrol.
We lastly call on the South African Police Service (SAPS) management to urgently kick-start the process of restructuring and for the amendment of the Criminal Procedure Act so it allows police officers to defend themselves in line with the law.
Police killings should be considered as high treason.
Issued by POPCRU on 28/02/2021
For more information contact Richard Mamabolo on 066 135 4349