South Africa 31.1.2018 08:52 am

Metro police mourn deaths

FILE PICTURE: Metropolitan Police Department officers march in unison. Picture: Alaister Russell

FILE PICTURE: Metropolitan Police Department officers march in unison. Picture: Alaister Russell

‘As an officer, you never know if you’ll be going back to your family.’

The Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) is mourning the deaths of two female police officers who were killed when an allegedly drunken motorist crashed into their roadblock on Monday night.

The incident occurred along Witkoppen Road in Paulshof and left two other female officers critically injured.

JMPD spokesperson Edna Mamonyane visited the families of the deceased officers and expressed her sorrow. “One of the police officers has three children and the other has two children. I cannot imagine the pain that these children are going through. I am a mother myself and I know that children need their mothers,” she said.

Mamonyane also visited the families of the injured police officers and said the families were relieved, despite the critical condition of the officers.

“They are still in intensive care because they are severely injured. However, their families are grateful that they are still alive,” she said.

Mamonyane added that one of the officers had fractured her right leg and her collarbone; and one had a punctured lung.

Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba, said: “The MMC for public safety, and I, are distraught that the city has lost more JMPD officers in such a manner.”

Mashaba said the driver who caused the accident was intoxicated and was arrested on the scene after blood samples were taken.

Mamonyane shared her experience of being a police officer and the sacrifices that police offers make to serve the country.

“To be a police officer is a selfless job. We got trained and took an oath to serve and protect our citizens and it is very hard,” she said.

Mamonyane said citizens tend to appreciate police officers only when their lives are in danger.

“As a police officer, you do your work and issue out fines and road users get mad and think that you are wasting their time. It is a very stressful job.”

She highlighted the potential danger that police officers are in during roadblocks.

“Some people bump you and there have been many instances where officers have been critically injured and killed while doing roadblocks,” she said.

“We do these roadblocks to ensure that road users are obeying the rules of the road and that everything is in order,” she said.

According to Mamonyane, there have been several cases where people have been kidnapped and rescued in car boots at the roadblocks.

To reduce police deaths the department of public safety has introduced a pilot project to help JMPD officers be more visible to road users while on duty.

Officers will wear a body-light device on their uniform to help increase their visibility.

“Being a police officer is risky. You never know whether you will be going back to your family,” she said.

– saneleg@citizen.co.za

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