Police unions have called to have attacks on police officers declared as treasonous.
This call comes after Deputy Minister of Police Cassel Mathale’s close protector Warrant Officer Lindela Mraqisa, who was off duty, and four others officers were killed in a mass shooting.
Mathale has sent his condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Mraqisa, who was among the five people who were shot and killed on Saturday evening in Gugulethu, Western Cape.
Police confirmed that Mraqisa was attached to the Western Cape’s Protection and Security Service (PSS) Division and had served as a close protector to Mathale since 2019.
SAPS national spokesperson Brigadier Athlenda Mathe said police have since mobilised maximum resources to trace and apprehend those behind the attack and killing of the four men and a woman.
Mathale has described the late member as dedicated, humble and hard working.
“The number of police officers killed on and off duty remains a concern for the leadership of the SAPS. We need the whole of society and government to fight this scourge. Mraqisa was a soft-spoken, dedicated and focused police officer who was always punctual and professional in his conduct. We hope police will find and bring to book those responsible for his death. My condolences go to his family”, said Mathale.
Police Minister General Bheki Cele and the national commissioner of the SAPS General Fannie Masemola will lead a delegation of senior police officers to Cape Town today, where they will interact with the investigating team and visit the bereaved family.
They will thereafter proceed to the family of another off-duty member who was found killed in Mfuleni on Sunday morning.
The 29-year-old policewoman was attached to the Samora Machel police station. The circumstances surrounding her death are the subject of a police investigation.
“One suspect has been arrested in connection with her death,” said Police Ministry spokesperson Lirandzu Themba.
The SAPS has appealed to members of the public to assist with information that will lead to the arrest of the perpetrators behind the mass shooting.
The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) said they were quite wary of the numerous investigations done on alleged perpetrators of police killings.
“Our hope is that with these arrests, convictions should be finalised so that justice is served. Most importantly, there should be harsh sentences meted out against perpetrators, and beyond just reacting to killings, the SAPS management needs to be proactive and work on measures to halt these killings,” said Popcru spokesperson Richard Mamabolo.
The South African Policing Union (Sapu) called for attacks on police to be deemed treason.
“Attack on the police is an attack on the state. That is why police killings should be declared as treason. This will show that government is really taking the issue of police killings seriously,” said Sapu spokesperson Lesiba Thobakgale.