Premium Journalist
1 minute read
31 Jul 2015
4:13 pm

Phiyega horrified by cop killings


South Africa’s national police commissioner expressed horror at the spate of police killings this week, following another fatality among SA Police Service (SAPS) ranks in Johannesburg on Friday morning.

National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega. Picture: Alaister Russell.

“While the SAPS acknowledges the fact that policing is, by its very nature, a high risk occupation and that our members are exposed to dangerous situations and criminals, joining the police service should not be equal to signing a death warrant,” Phiyega said.

“The police are here to serve and protect and these attacks are as a direct result of our zero tolerance approach to criminality. We will not relent and we will ensure that our colleagues’ deaths are not in vain by bringing those responsible to book.”

Her comments follows a shoot-out in Jeppestown on Friday morning in which a police constable, 34, was killed and three suspects wounded.

Earlier this week, a member of the Hawks’ specialised crime fighting unit, warrant officer Petrus Johannes Holz, was stabbed to death while travelling to work.

“So far this year, 53 police officers have been killed, of which four have met their untimely death this week alone,” Phiyega said.

“Of these, 25 officers were killed on duty and 28 were killed off duty. This is six more than last year for same period.”

Phiyega said detectives would be priorisiting investigations into police killings.

In addition, officers are continually being reminded to treat each situation as a life-threatening situation.

“While the SAPS management is doing all that it can for the safety and wellbeing of its members, personal safety is mostly controlled by the individuals and secondly by working closely and well with colleagues,” said Phiyega.

“The use of police radios, giving each other backup, being aware of one’s surroundings, regularly checking that all the tools issued are in good working order and are used when circumstance dictate, in addition to the several other safety measures that are put in place, will go a long way in saving lives.”