Police slain in the line of duty commemorated

This year's event commemorated members of the SAPS who lost their lives in the line of duty between 1 April 2020 and March 2021.

SAPS at Alexandra Plaza amidst threats of a national shutdown on 23 August 2021. Picture: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News

PRETORIA - President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday joined families of slain police officers at the annual South African Police Service Commemoration Day.

This year's event commemorated members of the SAPS who lost their lives in the line of duty between 1 April 2020 and March 2021, including the more than 800 police officers and support staff who had succumbed to COVID-19.

Ramaphosa said the occasion honoured members who had worked tirelessly to ensure that South Africans adhered to COVID-19 restrictions.

“It is important that we remember them because as we urged everyone from last year to stay home as part of our fight against this deadly virus. Our police officers were out there in the streets, serving the nation by enforcing the lockdown regulations for the safety of all South Africans.”

Speaking at the memorial site at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, Police Minister Bheki Cele said it was heart breaking to see officers being killed while fighting crime.

“The reality is, to us, the pain goes beyond the numbers. It cuts deep when we see an empty desk in the workplace, when we see a reduced number of members of parade, when we see police stations with severe shortage of members,” he said.

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.