Police Killings In South Africa

Constable Ronald Baloyi was stationed at the Laudium police station, west of Pretoria and he'd been with SAPS for six years when he was gunned down in August 2015.

Baloyi's younger brother, Albert, says his brother's death is a source of great pain to the family.

Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane, says the Gauteng government is setting up a task team to deal with police killings in the province.

"I've called on all the Police chiefs in Gauteng, for the three Metros Traffic, the Gauteng Traffic, Police as well as Provincial Commissioner that we need to form a task team that will deal decisively with the killing of the police but also to investigate what are the reasons behind the killings."

58 police officers killed in the country

Government says almost 60 police officers have been killed in the country between January and August 2015. Most of the killings took place in Gauteng, with KwaZulu-Natal coming in at second place.

The least number of killings took place in Free State and North West with one police officer killed in each province.

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Police not the Enemy of The Community

South African Police Service (SAPS) Spokesperson, Lieutenant General Solomon Mokgale says in recent months there has been an increase of police being attacked by the public. 

"What bothers me is the number of attacks on police, where they are stoned and in some instances people will beat them and they are punished with fists by members of the public," says Mokgale.

"The police belong to us in this country and we need to work together with the police and do everything as possible to mend those relations between the community and the police."

Makgale says the numbers of cases where police have been attacked by the public has increased from 1300 from the previous financial year to 1500 in 2015.

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daring criminals take on police

The Executive arm of the State has condemned the police killings, and National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega says the South African Police Service is prioritising investigations into police killings to ensure sentences handed down serve as deterrents.

Officers face huge odds

The ratio of police persons to citizens is 1:346, based on the population mid-year estimate of 2013 putting the population at just under 53 million people, with just over 153 000 SA Police Service Act employees. (Sourced from the 2013/14 SAPS Annual Report)

Gun Problem In South Africa

Law Expert, Martin Hood says as much as we have a gun problem in South Africa fire arm is merely a tool in the criminal's trade.

"Our problem is that we have too many criminals in South Africa, committing too many serious crimes, and that those criminals are not being caught quickly enough and put in prison," says Hood.

Hood says there are four sources of illegal fire-arms in South Africa.

"There are home made guns, which makes a relatively small percentage. There are fire arms that are an historical legacy of both internal conflict in South Africa, as well as external conflict, so we have guns that come across our boarders," says Hood.

Hood believes police are being killed because they do not receive proper training.

"Police are getting killed because they are not properly trained with firearms but they are also not being trained in a broader sense. They need tactical training because our streets are extremely violent and it is unfair to expect a police officer to go into a hostile environment without appropriate firearm and tactical training," says Hood.

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The Institute for Security Studies' Johan Burger says that criminals are becoming increasingly callous.

"We are confronted in this country by serious and violent crimes, criminal gangs armed with machine guns and other firearms and they are increasingly confident that they can take on police and are demonstrating that in our streets and I think that is why we are seeing an increase in the number of police officers killed."

By Neo Motloung