Parliament raises concern after attack on EC police station

Four men stormed the Kareedouw police station in the Eastern Cape on Saturday and held an off-duty officer to gunpoint.

Picture: SAPS

JOHANNESBURG - Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Police has described attacks on police stations as concerning.

Four men stormed the Kareedouw police station in the Eastern Cape on Saturday and held an off-duty officer at gunpoint.

The group also stole several firearms.

Committee chairperson Francois Beukman says safety measures for police officers should be implemented as a matter of urgency.

“The committee also notes that this robbery happened despite the assurance given by SAPS management earlier this year that safety as police stations would be upgraded. Police management also gave an undertaking that the necessary training would be provided to prevent such things from taking place. There are clearly shortcomings in the implementation of the plan.”

Earlier this year, Parliament said the killing of law enforcement officers and attacks on police stations amount to high treason. In February, five officers were killed in the attack on the Ngcobo police station, in the Eastern Cape.

Parliamentarians described the attack as a national tragedy. Three police officers were gunned down inside the police station, while two were later shot execution style. At the time, Beukman stressed the importance of curbing the illegal gun trade.

“The fight against the proliferation of illegal arms must be heightened as this will also remove the tools of crime from these criminals.”

The attackers fled with six pistols, two shotguns and two rifles. Five female officers were locked in a room during the attack and received counselling after the incident.

During a separate incident in June, more than 10 people were arrested after they ambushed police officers at the Eersterust police station and made off with goods, including a service pistol. After the incident, Parliament again urged police management to implement the necessary security measures at high-risk police stations, including perimeter fencing, security gates and CCTV cameras.

Additional reporting by Babalo Ndenze, Kevin Brandt & Lauren Isaacs.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)