Cape Town - The Western Cape police could soon receive an overhaul that will see increased firepower and weapons competency training, heightened and increased police operations in crime-ridden areas, and more officers dispatched to call-outs.
Deputy National Police Commissioner Sehlahle Masemola made the announcement during a memorial service held for three murdered police officers in Mitchells Plain on Tuesday.
“Criminals know what to do and that is to kill us in numbers. In the Western Cape we need to embark on operations immediately, we are going to work.
“We are going to hunt those criminals and take away all the firearms,” he said.
The first plan of action was to launch operations in areas where police killings were rife. Masemola said they would also revise their plan for police vehicles. “We want a minimum of three members inside a van. We are not buying any more single cab bakkies in the Western Cape.”
Two police officers in the van would be on the lookout during patrols while the driver focused on the road, he said.
An emotional Provincial Commissioner Khombinkosi Jula described the murder of three police officers in one week as “mass killing”.
“We have had tough week. To have three police officers killed in one (week) is a painful and traumatic experience.
“These mass killings are directed at police members. Someone has to pay. There must be no question that suggests our members are being demoralised because of this. We are not demoralised and will never be.”
Attacks on police officers have been on the increase over the past week. Three police officers were killed in separate incidents. Hours before Tuesday’s memorial, the Delft home of one of the slain officers was attacked while his wife, also a police constable, was home.
The living room window of the home of Constable Thanduxolo Ndiki, who was killed on Saturday, was smashed, but the suspects did not enter the house.
Police spokeswoman Constable Noloyiso Rwexana said two men, aged 29 and 34, were arrested and a case of attempted housebreaking had been opened. The men will appear in the Bellville Magistrate’s Court.
Last Wednesday, Constable Amanda Ladlokova, 33, and her colleague were ambushed while responding to a domestic violence complaint in Philippi East. Ladlokova was shot dead while her partner escaped with a neck and chest wound.
Constable Mabhuti Nqwaba, 33, was off-duty when he was shot and killed during an attempted hijacking in Kraaifontein as he was dropping off a relative at about 1am on Saturday.
On the same day, Constable Ndiki was found on a pavement in Delft.
He was wounded in the shoulder and later died in hospital. His vehicle was recovered in Muizenberg.
Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union spokesman Mcebisi Mbolekwa said action must be taken to stop the killings. “It is not acceptable; you can’t kill three black young police (officers). There is a problem and something must be done.”
Community Safety MEC Dan Plato has offered a reward of R100 000 for information that would lead to the arrest and conviction of the murderers.
At the time, Plato sent his condolences to the family. “In the past week three police officers have lost their lives, some even while responding to the needs of the community they serve while on duty. My sincerest condolences go out to the family, friends, and colleagues of those who have lost their lives.
“The Western Cape government condemns cop killings. While we have no operational control over SAPS, our government is committed to supporting the hard working officers who put their lives on the line every day to protect others.
“This reward should be a strong warning to anyone wishing to harm the brave men and women who serve our communities - there are now an extra 100 000 reasons why you will not get away with it,” he said.