Mthethwa slams police killings

Monday, May 23, 2011

Pretoria - Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa has condemned the recent police killings and vowed that those who are responsible would be brought to book.

The minister's comments come shortly after Warrant Officer Gurswin Matthee and Student Constable Cannon Cloete were killed in Kraaifonten, Western Cape, on Sunday.

According to the SAPS, Matthee and Cloete were rendering routine police assistance at an informal settlement when they confronted by armed suspects. The gunmen opened fire on the police officers and then fled with their service pistols.

Two police officers were also killed in KwaZulu-Natal on Thursday while carrying out a raid on a property. The owner of the property opened fire on the police officers, killing two of them and injuring a third.

Mthethwa has vowed to ensure that the police officers' deaths would not be in vain.

"As the South African Police Service, we are a family and when one of us loses his or her life as cowardly as it has happened it pains all of us. We however urge our members to continue in fighting crime fearlessly all within the framework of the law. This is a people's war and in the end the people shall win this war," the minister said.

Police would launch a concerted effort in partnership with communities to hunt down and apprehend those responsible for the killings, he added.

"These dedicated members lose their lives while protecting the nation. We shall never accept nor allow this to continue because a killing of a single police officer robs the nation... We shall not allow a few criminals to murder our law enforcement officers, who in the first place lose their lives while protecting society," he said.

National Police Commissioner General Bheki Cele described the killing of police officers as a crisis, adding that the rate at which the police were being gunned down was extremely alarming,

He urged police officers, especially those in the Western Cape, not to rest until those behind the killings are behind bars

"I have called on all police officers throughout the country to continue with their work undeterred and vigilantly. This attack is a clear indication that there are cold-blooded criminals out there that have no value or thought for human life and we must deal with them doggedly," Cele said.

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