Police Minister Bheki Cele consoles the family of officer Donovan Prins, who was shot dead in Lavender Hill on Monday. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - Police Minister Bheki Cele again dismissed calls for the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) after he visited the family of a 34-year-old police officer was shot dead in Lavender Hill on Monday after his police vehicle came under fire.

“The army is not trained to deal with civilians, the rate of crime in the Western Cape has not reached the point that necessitates the deployment of the SANDF,” he said.

He said the idea was only touted by political parties that did not want to visit the same communities.

Cele said he would be working to increase the number of police in the area.

This all came after Cele got permission from the president to miss out on the State of the Nation (SONA) debate, and instead visit the family of  Donovan Richard Prins  was shot dead in Lavender Hill.

Cele said two suspects were being questioned in the matter .

Donovan Richard Prins was described by his family as a loving, kind and caring man, who was passionate about his job.

His wife, Shaldene Prins, also a police officer who worked at the same station, said she heard on the station’s radio when her husband was shot.

“After the shooting another officer shouted for help.

“It was a horrific moment for me. I did not know what to do, however, he was rushed to hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries.

“His partner, a constable, escaped the attack unharmed,” she said.

Donovan was the only son of Richard and Rachel Prins, who also have two daughters, Natasha Davids and Carmen Prins. Natasha pleaded with Cele and called for justice.

“We are in a sad state. We loved and respected our brother - he was the best,” Natasha said.

Richard Prins said Donovan joined the police when he was 18.

“He loved and respected the law,” he said.

His memorial service will be held on Friday.

Cele said: “It is difficult for all of us. This coming Saturday we will be burying a police officer gunned down by criminals in Soweto. This year, so far, we have around 26 officers killed on duty in our country, and that needs to stop.

“We are calling on everyone to work with us in apprehending the culprits. If we do not work together, we are not going anywhere,” Cele said.

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Cape Argus