Murdered cops mourned

05 September 2016 - 08:30

Dozens of the spouses, parents and children of police officers killed last year were in Pretoria yesterday to commemorate the lives of their loved ones.

The mourners, from across the country, gathered at the Union Buildings, where Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa paid his respects to the 72 officers killed, 40 of them in the line of duty.

Many of the mourners were inconsolable. Several were taken away in wheelchairs, overcome by their grief.

Ramaphosa's contention that the sacrifice of those killed would be "remembered and etched in the hearts of all of us in South Africa" was little consolation to Durban widow Asha Ramsakkan.

Her husband, Ashok, was killed in November last year.

As tears rolled down her face she described the "devastation" of losing her husband and "partner in crime".

"From the day that he was pulled away from us, our lives have been shattered. I find myself questioning if God was angry at us.

"Every day I pray and ask God to help me forget Ashok. People say at least I have the happy memories - but I don't want memories, I want him."

Offering his condolences , acting national police commissioner, Lieutenant-General Khomotso Phahlane, said: "I t is inevitable that you wi ll face trauma. We view police work as a calling."

Ramaphosa's calls for continued community assistance in catching cop killers seems to have had an effect, with the police last week - through tip-offs - arresting two men who allegedly stabbed Bloemfontein constable Johannes Putsoeli to death in February.

Two men last week got life imprisonment for killing Lieutenant-Colonel Knox Chauke two years ago.