- Police Minister Bheki Cele ordered South African service members to use force when necessary when faced with danger
- Cele spoke at the funeral of two slain police officers who were killed while on duty in Empangeni, KwaZulu-Natal
- Cele emphasized that officers must use force proportional to the threat
- Briefly News asked for clarity from the Department’s spokesperson, who reiterated the minister’s words without clarifying the meaning
Tebogo Mokwena, a Briefly News current affairs journalist in Johannesburg, South Africa, covered police investigations and court cases at Daily Sun for over three years.
The Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, called on cops to fight fire with fire if their lives are threatened. The South African Police Service revealed that over 70 police officers have been killed in the past seven months. The SAPS revealed this heartbreaking figure after two police officers who were killed in the line of duty were buried in one day. South Africans demanded that Bheki Cele find a strategy to deal with the killing of police officers.
SAPS buried two officers
The South African Police Service posted on their Facebook page after they laid two members to rest. According to Police Ministry Spokesperson Lirandzu Themba, 10 police officers have been killed every month in the past seven months. One of the officers who died was Constable Spesihle Cele, an officer who was based in Empangeni. He was shot and killed on 16 November after he was part of a team that responded to a shooting at a tavern.
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Bheki Cele told cops to fight back
Bheki Cele issued a stern warning at Cele’s funeral. Cele encouraged the police to fight fire with fire and not allow themselves to die with a weapon in their hands. The Minister of Police also condemned criminals for putting police officer’s lives at risk and encouraged police officers to use the resources the force gives them to defend themselves and their communities. He stressed that officers must not fear using force “proportional to the threat.”
Police spokesperson does not clarify Cele's words
Briefly News asked the Department or Police’s spokesperson, Lirandzu Themba, if the use of force proportional to the threat could be misinterpreted as a “shoot to kill” order.
“It’s not the same thing. Minister Cele is on record to say police must use the same force as criminals if we are to win the fight against crime. So no, there can’t be any confusion. It’s a call to members who must use force proportional to the threat," she said.
SA send condolences to slain cops
Netizens on Facebook sent their condolences to the deceased officers and shared their views.
Mxo Mazibuko said:
"Bheki Cele must come up with a strategy to deal with dangerous criminals. Perpetrators must get harsh sentences for attacking the police.”
Ramosabego Khwenanyane wrote:
“Criminals declared war against police.”
Mpho Mo remarked:
“Condolences to his family and colleagues. May his soul rest in eternal peace.”
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Tiyani Mabunnda added:
“God save men and women in blue.”
Off-duty cop shot and killed in Khayelitsha
Similarly, Briefly News reported that a Cape Town police officer was killed while visiting his friend in Khayelitsha.
The officer was allegedly in his car with his friend when two men armed with guns approached them and opened fire. They fired several shots, and although the friend was injured, the officer sustained fatal shots. South Africans lamented his death and mourned the state of crime in Mzansi.
Source: Briefly News