The Minister of Police Bheki Cele urged police to use deadly force if it is necessary, after six officers were killed over the last 10 days.
The Department said it was in shock in a statement released on Sunday, February 8, after the latest incident where two police officers were killed in Bloekombos, Cape Town on Saturday.
“While on patrol, two officers from Kraaifontein police station were ambushed, shot and killed in the early hours of Saturday morning,” Police stated.
Both of the officers died on the scene and were robbed of their official firearms by the perpetrators.
Four other police officers, three of whom were off-duty, were killed in Kwa-Zulu Natal earlier in the week. “While it is a dark time for us in the police right now, we will not be deterred by these cowardly acts,” said Cele.
“Let me remind police officers that when they go out there to enforce law and order, the law is on your side to respond decisively when confronted by criminals and use deadly force to defend yourself.”
The Minister called for crimes committed against police to be punished more severely because “members in blue are national assets that must be protected at all costs.”
Cele also encouraged community members to step up their fight against crime by providing law enforcement officers with any information that might assist in ongoing investigations.
“While the onus lies on the police to prevent, combat and investigate crime, communities have a role to play in flushing out crime, as the criminals committing these heinous acts come from the communities we serve, so the time to improve community and police relations is now,” Cele concluded.