‘86 police officers died in the last financial year’

Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko says 35 on duty & 51 off duty officials were killed last year.

FILE: This figure represents a nearly 12 percent increase in the number of police deaths compared to the year before. Picture: SAPS.

CAPE TOWN - Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko says 86 police officers lost their lives during the past financial year.

Delivering his department's budget vote speech in Parliament today, he said this figure represents a nearly 12 percent increase in the number of police deaths compared to the year before.

The minister says 35 on duty and 51 off duty police officers were killed last year.

"As societies it's important to inculcate in ourselves that killing police is killing the nation."

On the issue of service delivery protests, he says police were deployed to deal with 14,740 demonstrations of which 2,289 turned violent.

"In this regard we urge all political parties to different persuasions to play a positive role in stabilising our communities."

Nhleko says these protests continue to drain police resources.