Police Minister Fikile Mbalula wants to demilitarise the South African Police Service but at the same time, told police officers to “shoot to kill”.
“Police must be ruthless against those that are armed and must shoot and shoot to kill if that is the case”.
Mbalula said police officers should not allow ruthless criminals to kill them first.
“The law protects you to fight back, to protect innocent citizens and to protect innocent police who are enforcing the law,” Mbalula said.
“I buried a police officer, Sergeant Philemon Sibiya recently: he left his children and wife, because when they approached criminals, the criminals opened fire and shot him.
“This society is highly armed. There are people who’ve got guns they’re not supposed to have and that is why I am introducing a Bill that deals with firearms control. People easily get firearms in this society,” Mbalula said.
He was speaking at a media briefing in Pretoria, outlining the outcome of a two-day strategic planning session where the National Crime Prevention Strategy and its four pillars were revisited.
Mbalula said he would be signing more policies that were at an advanced stage of finalisation in the current financial year, which would require flawless implementation by the police and other stakeholders.
He said the Firearms Control Act provided the legal framework for the registration and control of firearms and the Bill sought to strengthen the Act.