Cosatu calls for the protection of police officers

Cosatu calls for the protection of police officers

Police officers must be protected, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) said on Tuesday.

Cosatu congress 5

“The ultimate target in killings of police officers are the community, they [criminals] will come for unarmed women and children. Protect the police so that the police can protect us,” acting Cosatu secretary Bheki Ntshalitshali said at the federation’s 12th congress taking place in Midrand, Johannesburg.

“When we are attacked [by criminals] we went under our beds and called the police expecting them to come to rescue us.”

More than 50 police officers have been killed countrywide this year.

Ntshalitshali said the police would not come to protect the community if they were themselves not protected.

“In other countries an attack on the police is an attack on the State.”

A policeman was shot during an attack in Letlhabile near Brits in North West. Warrant Officer Sipho Sithole was off-duty on November 14 when a group of armed men attacked him and hijacked his car. He was taken to hospital but died later of his wounds.

On the same day, Constable John Mokotedi was buried in Brits after he had been shot in Bapong near Brits, a week earlier.

The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) last week staged marches demanding an immediate plan and action by the South African Police Service for the defence of police officers against the continued onslaught unleashed against them.

“Members criminally charged for defending themselves against this continued onslaught, must be defended by the South African Police Service and proper professional counselling provided to them,” the union said in a memorandum.

The union also called on the South African Police Service to embark on a process of putting together submissions to Parliament to enact legislation for the mandatory sentencing for those found guilty of killing police officers. - ANA

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