Slain N2 cop described as disciplined & hardworking
The 50-year-old Hawks official was stabbed to death along the N2 highway on Wednesday morning.
CAPE TOWN - As the National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega calls for cop killings to be prioritised, slain Western Cape officer Petrus Holtz's boss has described him as a disciplined member of the South African Police Services and a mentor to his younger colleagues.
The 50-year-old Hawks official was stabbed to death along the N2 highway on Wednesday morning. He had been forced to stop his car after hitting an obstruction on the road.
Hawks Provincial Commander for Commercial Crime, Neil Oliver, spoke highly of him and says he was very committed to his job.
"At any time, be night or early morning, you can call upon him and he would respond. He was absolutely an officer that members of the public and more sadly so his family can be proud of."
Meanwhile, initiatives have been launched in a bid to make the N2 highway safer for motorists.
The Somerset West Community Policing Forum's Billy Smith says a private security company has been roped in to patrol a section of the road during the early morning hours and again at night.
"They offer to patrol from Somerset West through to Spine road. I got hold of JP Smith, the member for Metro and he agreed the security company can patrol the road."
P hiyega has urged members to work closely with their colleagues and to watch each other's back when faced with brazen criminals who have demonstrated they won't hesitate ti kill cops.
The commissioner was reacting to the latest police killing in Jeppestown on Friday, which has brought to 53 the number of police officers that have been killed since January.
This week, constables died in shootouts with robbers in Temba and Vosloorus, while a Hawks official was stabbed to death while changing flat tyres on the N2 highway in cape town.
Phiyega said police officers must use their radios, give each other back up and be aware of their surroundings when entering dangerous situations.
The police's Vish Naidoo said "ensuring that they call for necessary backup when they know that the situation that they are approaching is not just potentially dangerous but also life-threatening. We're continuously educating our members to treat every situation as life-threatening."
Naidoo said the cases against several suspected cop killers are being prioritised.
He said five suspects were arrested within hours of the police officer being gunned down in Jeppestown, while five firearms including an AK47 assault rifle were seized.
He says police are working tirelessly on several recent cases.
"Suspects were arrested in a killing of a police officer in Temba. There were two suspects involved in that, one suspect was shot on the scene and the second suspect was arrested. Arrests were made also for the killing of the police officer in the Western Cape."
Naidoo said there should be stronger condemnation of these callous crimes.
The police commissioner said she is horrified by the latest increase of police killings and is urging every man and woman in blue to treat every situation as potentially life-threatening.
Phiyega said personal safety is controlled by the individual members, who must employ their training and equipment and work closely with their colleagues while on duty.