Johannesburg - National Police Commissioner Bheki Cele says corruption within the South African Police Service (SAPS) remained one of the major stumbling blocks in the fight against the scourge of crime in the country.
Cele has now vowed to use all the resources at his disposal to root out the practice. "Before we can go out there and claim victory, we have to stand internally in our fight against crime," said Cele.
Speaking at a Primedia Crime Line event, where the police also launched this year's festive season crime prevention campaign, Cele warned police officers involved in corrupt activities that their days were numbered.
Cele made an example of four North West officers who were arrested last week after their dirty dealings with a certain businessman was exposed.
Cele also issued a warning to criminals that police will not hesitate to use deadly force when confronted by danger in the process of executing their jobs.
"There are those among the society who complain when we order people to use deadly force. They raise issues of human rights forgetting that these criminals take someone's rights away when they murder and rape," he said.
More than 18 000 people were murdered in South Africa, a phenomenon Cele described as unacceptable.
"The time has come where when even one murder has been committed the entire community rise up. There time has come even when one girl is raped - we all rise up and talk about it," Cele said.
In his ideal South Africa, a teenage girl should be able to walk home in the middle of the night without being afraid of being raped or attacked.
Crime Line is a Primedia initiative supported by government, the business sector and religious leaders.
Today's safety festive season launch saw well-know South African big names in the entertainment industry pledging their support for war against criminals.
The signatories for the pledge included musicians Danny K, Kurt Darren, Oskido, Ntando, Lira, actress Sonia Sedibe and soccer stars from Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates.