Mthethwa condemns metro cop death

Monday, March 18, 2013

Pretoria – Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa says that anybody who attacks or kills a police officer will face the full might of the law.

Reacting to the death of an Ekurhuleni Metro police officer this past weekend in Daveyton, Mthethwa said the killing of members of law enforcement agencies was a threat to the country’s hard-won Constitutional democracy – something that should not be taken lightly by society.

“Whilst we have been consistent in condemning police brutality, we shall not tolerate any provocation of police officers when they perform their duties. 

“There is no carte blanche to say people must attack police, hence we shall deal with such elements decisively... ” said Mthethwa.

Preliminary reports indicate that the officer went out to enforce by-laws and whilst on duty, a confrontation ensued when police tried to impound an illegally operating caravan. 

Reports further indicate that the owner of the caravan allegedly confronted the police as they were about to remove it from the pavement, which contravened the Ekurhuleni by-laws. The owner then reportedly punched the officer who fell backwards and hit his head hard on the ground.  He was later declared dead.

The suspect will appear in the Benoni Magistrate’s Court today.

The minister said that any person who impeded police in carrying out their duties would face a charge of obstruction of justice.

He reiterated government’s uncompromising stance of fighting crime, smartly and toughly. 

“Almost each week, we are criss-crossing the country, urging communities to partner with the police and we have received significant support and undertakings on this quest. 

“We shall therefore not allow a minority of people who think they can attack or provoke our officers.  We shall not tolerate any such lawlessness, which is unjustifiable.”

Mthethwa urged society to respect police officers and vice versa. He further urged society not to support people who disturbed public order.

He said they should be intolerant of such people as they would be of some police officers who brutalise members of society. –