Minister warns ‘tsotsi cops’

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Children dance as an SAPS band plays during minister Nathi Mthethwas walkabout in Hillbrow. Photo: Dumisani Sibeko

Johannesburg - Minister of Police Nathi Mthethwa has vowed to act harshly against police officers accused of criminal acts during this festive season.

On Wednesday, Mthethwa warned the men and women in blue not to face exchanging their uniforms for prison garb.

“We do not want tsotsi (criminal) police officers. Once you change and become a tsotsi cop, you will change your nice blue uniform into that ugly orange uniform,” Mthethwa cautioned.

“People should be able to smile when they see you in this uniform. They should know they are protected when police are around,” he added.

Mthethwa was speaking to more than 100 police officers and other law enforcement members at Constitution Hill as part of the Operation Duty Calls, Safer Festive Season campaign.

He pleaded with the police to make life difficult for criminals this festive season.

“Members of the public have been working hard for the whole year. This is the time for them to sit back and reflect on events of the year.

“They do not want to be bothered by criminals roaming the streets and waiting to pounce on their victims,” said the minister.

After addressing the members, Mthethwa toured the streets of the crime-ridden suburb of Hillbrow, giving residents crime prevention pamphlets.

He stopped and greeted residents, who mostly poured out their grievances to him.

“We need the police to fight crime in the area. We are living in fear as people are being stabbed and robbed,” one of the residents, Nelly Motswagole, said.

She told the minister about a stabbing incident that resulted in someone dying a block away from her flat on Tuesday night.


Mthethwa expressed his gratitude to the residents and said: “Hillbrow is always in our thoughts… We want it to be clean, and it will be cleaned.”

The Star

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