The families of slain crime fighters still waiting for answers - Times LIVE
Sat Mar 25 17:33:49 SAST 2017

The families of slain crime fighters still waiting for answers

The Editor, The Times Newspaper | 2012-04-11 00:55:38.0

The Times Editorial: Few can forget that day (July 23 2010) when seven elite officers died in a helicopter crash while responding to an armed robbery after their Eurocopter BK117 aircraft crashed in thick mist.

Suspended police commissioner Bheki Cele broke down soon after viewing the crash scene in Witbank.

He said: "The men inside were good. They were members of an elite team for whom fighting crime was a passion. They, along with the pilots, were among our best men and women."

But, nearly two years later, it seems the accident has not been properly investigated to finally give the families of the slain crime fighters closure.

We carry today a report about the pain these families are going through.

They are demanding answers about the crash.

Police who at the time promised a swift investigation are today accused by the families of being cagey.

Police say the crash report is with the Directorate of Public Prosecutions, which claims it has no knowledge of the matter.

The families and the public have a right to know the circumstances that led to this aviation disaster. Police can not fail the public and especially their own.

It is sad when the wife of Warrant Officer Thinus Gouws, one of the co-pilots who died that day, begs the police for an answer.

She told The Times that all that she wants is closure .

"We just want answers. Our husbands loved the police. They gave their lives for the service. We as families were told everything would be done to find out what happened.

"We were told it was human error, but when we asked whose error it was we were told nothing. We want to know what happened. We want to know so that we can get closure."

Failure to bring closure sends a negative message to the public that if police cannot help their own, the public should expect even less from them.


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