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Sun Dec 04 03:56:20 SAST 2016

Battle to survive on the beat

Siphiwe Mahlangu, Pretoria | 2016-02-04 00:23:34.0
Last year the country lost more than 80 policemen and women. Most met their death at the hands of cold-blooded criminals. File photo
Image by: Intelligence Bureau SA

It petrifies me that a dark cloud hangs over the heads of the men and women in blue.

Last year the country lost more than 80 policemen and women. Most met their death at the hands of cold-blooded criminals.

It has been an unhappy new year for families and colleagues of warrant officers Marias Bower, of Limpopo, Joel Seloga, of North West, and Siza Nyambeni and Thembinkosi Gumede, of KwaZulu-Natal, who all fell on the beat.

Constable Mbuyisela Concoshi, of Free State, and Lieutenant-Colonel Renier Lourens, of Gauteng, were killed while off duty.

This weekend Nyambeni and Gumede will be buried. They died after a shootout a day after the SAPS celebrated National Police Day on January 27.

There are many gruesome stories that tell of the danger and bitterness of the fight against criminality.

Frankly, these tragedies dictate that the police must act unapologetically towards ruthless criminals.

But their actions must be within the law.

The Hawks team assigned with the task of investigating police killings seems to be yielding results.

Siyabonga "Mamba" Ndlovu - a suspected police-killer - died in a shootout trying to evade arrest by the Hawks and a canine unit in Pietermaritzburg.

It is to be hoped that the Back to Basics programme will address matters pertaining to the safety of police members.

A "bravo" should go to all the selfless men and women who continue to serve this country with zeal.

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