Criminals who behave like “beasts” will be treated as beasts, Police Minister Bheki Cele warned on Sunday.
“We have to treat you like a beast if you behave like a beast, and we will continue to treat those who act human as humans,” he said at Shayizandla Farm in Msinga (Tugela-Ferry area) at the funeral service for Captain Dumisani Mhlanzi, who was shot dead while off-duty at Maphumulo on February 23.
“I need you all to be very clear on this. We have to make sure that we do our job according to human rights and the Constitution and in respect of the law,” Cele told mourners, including senior police officers.
Most South Africans were law-abiding citizens who should be taken care of and protected, but there were others who were thugs and criminals and they had to be treated accordingly.
“Human rights are for humans not animals. Those who commit to shoot and kill police offices on duty are not human beings. I agree with human rights activists that humans deserve human rights. To me, that’s where I draw the line on a person’s humanity; beyond that you are a beast and so we have to treat you as a beast. We have to treat you like a beast if you behave like a beast, and we will continue to treat those who act human as humans,” Cele said.
His comments come a week after five police officers and a retired soldier were shot dead by gunmen who attacked the Ngcobo police station in the Eastern Cape.
According to a police statement released last year, 57 officers died in the 2016/2017 financial year.
For the same period in 2015/2016, 79 officers died, and of those, 40 were killed in the line of duty.
– African News Agency (ANA)