South Africa pays tribute to brave police officers killed in the line of duty
Pretoria - It remains of serious concern that police officers are killed by criminals resisting arrest while responding to complaints, effecting arrests, in stop-and-search operations, and in vehicle accidents, among others, Deputy President David Mabuza said on Sunday.
"Equally, it is highly disturbing that police officers lose their lives in stop-and-search operations and are sometimes murdered for their firearms. As we know, criminal elements thereafter use these stolen firearms to commit serious and violent crimes," Mabuza said at the annual South African Police Service (SAPS) National Commemoration Day event at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.
"On this solemn day of remembrance, we gather to honour and pay tribute to our police officers who lost their lives in the line of duty. We honour them for their dedicated service to the nation to ensure that each one of us enjoys fundamental freedoms enshrined in our Constitution," he said.
Police officers were vital agents of peace, security, and social stability. For social progress and prosperity of the nation, police officers were in the frontline to uphold law and order and defend every citizen from harm. They were the vital cog in the criminal justice system.
Without question, these were dedicated professionals who were willing to place themselves in the line of duty in order to ensure that every citizen and all those within South Africa’s borders were safe from harm, he said.
"They came from different backgrounds. They were raised under different environments and by different communities. Yet, what was common for all of them was sacrifice and selfless service to ensure that justice is served for all victims of crime irrespective of societal standing.
"We believe that there is no greater vocation that an individual can dedicate themselves to than that of policing in an environment of high risk to one’s personal safety. Our dedicated police members are aware of these risks, yet they remain committed to the cause of serving and protecting others,“ Mabuza said.
The safety of policemen and women remained a top priority of government. Community support and protection of police officers could never be emphasised enough. Government would continue to extend unwavering support to the SAPS, its members, and their families.
The SAPS was also enhancing skills of its members through training in support of the police safety strategy with the aim of minimising attacks on police officers.
"Ours is to be partners with police in uprooting crime in our communities and in ensuring that together with law enforcement agencies we play our part of building a South Africa of our dreams. The deaths in the line of duty of these men and women should serve to inspire us to do good and serve with integrity in everything we do.
"Together, let us continue to fight crime and create better and safer environment for all our people. Together, let us work in unison to eliminate crime and corruption in our country. Crime erodes the image of our country, and it affects all that is worthy for our country to be considered a destination of choice for tourism and investment,“ Mabuza said.
"May the souls of these fallen sons and daughters of our land, remain embedded in our minds. May they continue to rest in eternal peace," he said.
African News Agency (ANA)