Cop killers must be hunted and brought to book, says Cyril Ramaphosa
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Pretoria - President Cyril Ramaphosa has condemned the perpetual killing of police officers in South Africa, amidst a high rate of violent crime across the country.
This year, the names of 34 police officers were added and engraved to the National Memorial Wall at the Union Buildings to signify South Africa’s gratitude for the departed men and women in blue.
“Let us as civilians, therefore, get into the habit of reporting crime and making our voices heard. The perpetrators of these attacks on police must be found and brought to book. The fight against crime cannot be won by the police on their own,” Ramaphosa said at the Union Buildings on Sunday, during the National Police Commemoration Day which pays tribute to police officers and reservists who lost lives in the line of duty.
“Let us all present here today make a renewed commitment to unite and work together to ensure that those who are responsible for crime pay for their deeds. The debt of gratitude we owe our fallen men and women in blue is eternal.”
He said the debt can only be repaid by the full attainment of “the highest ideals for which they laid down their lives”.
The commemoration this week was dedicated to members of the South African Police Service who lost their lives in the line of duty between the 1st of April 2020 and the 31st of March 2021.
“They were colleagues, sons, daughters, husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, loving fathers, caring mothers, neighbours and friends. They will be deeply missed,” Ramaphosa addressed the bereaved families and senior officials in the ministry of police.
“Occasions such as this are a stark reminder of the perils our men and women in uniform face as they carry out their duty to serve our country and protect its people. We fully understand the anxiety that accompanies the knowledge that you could leave your home for work, never again to return.”
Ramaphosa said unfortunately, there are some people within society who have absolutely no regard for the patriotic duty discharged by police officers.
“These are the people who attack our men and women in uniform and thus undermine the authority of the democratic state. Today we cherish the memories of 34 members who paid the ultimate price for their commitment and determination to serve the South African people,” he said.
“I also wish to take this moment to pay tribute to the 840 men and women in blue, as well as support staff, who succumbed to Covid-19 since its outbreak early last year. It is important that we remember them because as we urged everyone to stay home as part of our fight against the deadly virus, police officers were in the streets enforcing the lockdown regulations for the safety of all South Africans.”
As part of the commemoration day activities, Ramaphosa together with Police Minister Bheki Cele, National Commissioner of the South African Police Service General Khehla Sitole and the next of kin of the fallen police officers laid wreaths in honour of the deceased.
Cele also paid tribute to the 34 departed men and women in blue.
The proceedings of the day culminated with Ramaphosa engaging with the bereaved families, where he shared words of comfort and support to each family member.
African News Agency (ANA)