Cele urges communities, SAPS to collaborate in fight against crime

Police Minister Bheki Cele has encouraged South African Police Service members to defend themselves against criminals without going rogue.

Forensic pathology officers at the scene where police officers were killed when armed men attacked the Ngcobo police station in the Eastern Cape on 21 February 2018. Picture: Gallo Images/Sowetan/Michael Pinyana

NGCOBO, Eastern Cape – Addressing a memorial service for victims of the Ngcobo police massacre, newly-appointed Police Minister Bheki Cele has stressed the importance of collaboration between communities and the South African Police Service (Saps) to combat crime.

Five officers and a retired soldier were killed as a gang, since linked to a church cult, attacked the police station in the Eastern Cape town last week.

Senior police officers as well as provincial leaders attended the memorial, along with residents.

Cele has encouraged South African Police Service members to defend themselves against criminals without going rogue.

“I’m not calling on you to be rogues, but I’m not calling on you to die with your guns in your hands.”

Cele has reiterated calls for the fight against police killings to be given more impetus.

“The killing of the police is one area where we can’t rest before we reduce or eradicate it, but we must make sure we stop it.”

Authorities say there have been at least six attacks on police stations countrywide over the past two years, including Klapmuts, Lingelethu, Bethulie and Kimberley.

WATCH: Slain Ngcobo police officers honoured