Cape Town - The distraught family of a slain off-duty police officer, and unions are calling for the government and police management to reintroduce police villages and barracks where officers would live safely and be protected at all times.
Sergeant Andile Sirunu, 46, stationed at Lentegeur police station's visible policing, was allegedly hijacked and shot dead in Eersterivier yesterday.
Police spokesperson FC Van Wyk said Sirunu was shot in his neck and was transported to a nearby hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
His son, Bonga Sirunu, 28, said the family are still in shock but felt that criminals were targeting police officers.
Sirunu said his father was very humble, and he loved his family.
He said they never imagined life without their father, who was everything to them.
An initial police report says that upon arrival at Eersterivier Hospital they found the victim with two gunshot wounds to the chest, and that according to the hospital, the victim was brought by his friend, who dropped him off at the hospital.
The report said the friend told the hospital they were hijacked in Blue Downs and the victim was shot.
He then left right away. The victim was declared dead on arrival at Eerste River Hospital, and a 72 hour activation plan was implemented.
Van Wyk said a murder case was opened for investigation by the Hawks.
Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) spokesperson Richard Mamabolo said the killing of the officers was becoming an onslaught.
“These attacks seem to be targeted, considering we have had eight police killings in the past 11 days,” said Mamabolo.
He called for an urgent meeting with both Police Minister Bheki Cele and police commissioner Khehla Sitole with a view of interrogating those killings, saying action needed to be urgently taken.
SA Police and Allied Workers' Union (Sapawu) president Bonga Makuliwe said the issue of police killings has become a norm in the country and no action was taken by the government.
Makuliwe said those who were found responsible for police killing should be charged with treason.
“The police need to find ways to stop these killings like removing the police members from the locations to better places.
“Paying members better salaries might have a huge impact to minimise these kinds of killings,” said Makuliwe.