Popcru calls on Cele to help protect officers in dangerous situations

The South African Policing Union's president Mpho Kwinika says Cele must give officers the nod to allow them to use maximum force where necessary.

FILE: African National Congress (ANC) national executive committee (NEC) member Bheki Cele. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG – The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) has called on new Police Minister Bheki Cele to help officers to protect themselves in dangerous situations as more than seven police officers were killed in just over a week.

A Pretoria officer was killed and his colleague seriously wounded by suspects during a stop-and-search in Sunnyside on Friday night, a week before an off-duty officer was shot at his home also in the capital.

In the Eastern Cape, two of the five Ngcobo officers shot dead by members of a cult were buried on Saturday.

The South African Policing Union's president Mpho Kwinika says Cele must give officers the nod to allow them to use maximum force where necessary.

“The minister General Bheki Cele must create that space for the police management to make sure that they provide that support to their juniors.”

He says the public are fast to criticise the police when a suspect is shot dead but have little sympathy when officers are killed in the line of duty.

Popcru's Richard Mamabolo says officers need to be allowed to protect themselves.

“It’s now generating fears among the populace that criminals have taken over the streets.”

Cele who is not new to the police has given a stern warning to criminals that officers will not die with their weapons in their hands.