File photo: African News Agency (ANA)

CAPE TOWN - More resources need to be allocated to South African Police Service (SAPS) specialised units who need to deal with highly trained and heavily armed cash-in-transit (CIT) robbers and other high-risk operations, parliament's police portfolio committee said on Sunday.

The killing of a member of the SAPS special task force and a member of police crime intelligence during a shootout with armed CIT robbers near Nongoma in KwaZulu-Natal on Friday night was a sad day for all law-abiding South Africans, committee chairman Francois Beukman said in a statement.

“The SAPS lost highly trained members who were at the forefront in the fight against violent crime. It is a big loss to our nation. Their deaths is a huge loss to SAPS, the specialised units, and their respective families,” he said.

The committee extended its heartfelt condolences to the families of the two dead police officers. They paid the highest price to ensure that ordinary South Africans did not become victims of brazen criminality.

"The committee is of the firm view that more resources should be allocated to the specialised units who need to deal with highly trained and heavily armed cash-in-transit robbers and other high-risk operations," Beukman said.

The resources should be used in the procurement of appropriate communication, technological, and satellite cover, and air-support for the specialised units and crime-combatting units. The resources were necessary to enable the units to deal with the complex task they faced every day.

“The specialised units of the SAPS face life-threatening and dangerous situations daily, and all necessary steps should be taken from a budgetary, logistical, and training perspective to support them appropriately,” he said.

The committee would support an increase in the budget for the sub-programme specialised interventions of the SAPS, which was allocated R4.3 billion in the current financial year. 

"The increase in unconventional crime incidents with heavily armed perpetrators requires a re-look at modus operandi and resource allocation," Beukman said.        

He also wished the the woman SAPS officer who was wounded in the shoot-out a speedy recovery.   

African News Agency (ANA)