March in Johannesburg against police killings

March in Johannesburg against police killings

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) said on Wednesday that its members – including police officers – should not be prosecuted when they defend themselves against criminals.

Police Killings march 2

Addressing a crowd of about 250 people gathered in Mary Fitzgerald Square in Johannesburg ahead of a march against police killings, Amos Vusi Munyela, provincial chairperson of Cosatu, said: “When criminals are producing firearms, we don’t know what they are going to do, but stats have shown that they kill [police] officers.”

Munyela said the point of the march was for police officers to be protected because they were members of the public and their job was to protect communities.

“Even when they are in the line of duty, it’s easy to arrest them and their work isn’t recognised,” said Munyela.

The comments where in apparent reference to the arrest of four Krugersdorp police officers who have been charged in connection with the killing of a suspected armed robber last month.

The incident came to light after a video surfaced, which shows the suspect Khulekani Mpanza being shot dead while lying on the ground. Mpanza had been shot and wounded during a chase after he allegedly opened fire on the police. He had allegedly committed an armed robbery.

Munyela said the march would send a message calling for changes to some sections of police and criminal Acts to better protect police officers. He said the government had to look at how best to protect police officers.

Police and Prison Civil Rights Union (Popcru) said it was expecting around 2,000 people to take part in the march to protest against the killing of police officers.

Popcru spokesperson Richard Mamabolo said: “When police don’t do anything fingers are pointed at them, but when they do something they are blamed for it.”

He said the police were saying they would like more support from the government and communities to do their jobs.

Provincial Deputy Chairperson of the Police and Prison Civil Rights Union Gauteng, Naughty Magoai, said: “This is the start, we are here to send a message to our employers and justice. We can’t have so many of our members dying.” - ANA

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