Stronger ties between communities and police will help tackle criminality, says Cyril Ramaphosa

06 September 2021 - 11:00
By Cebelihle Bhengu
A family member of a slain officer lays down a flower at the national commemoration day for police officers on Sunday.
Image: GCIS A family member of a slain officer lays down a flower at the national commemoration day for police officers on Sunday.

Stronger relationships between communities and the police could help SA in its fight against criminality and spare the lives of police officers who die at the hands of criminals, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Sunday. 

Ramaphosa was addressing the families of slain police officers at the police memorial site at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, where he also observed the annual SA Police Service Commemoration Day.

The president also paid tribute to the 840 officers who died from Covid-19 since March last year. He praised their efforts in enforcing lockdown regulations around the country.

Here are five important quotes from his address:

A calling that demands selflessness

“This is a difficult calling that demands true selflessness. Unfortunately, we have some in our society who have absolutely no regard for the patriotic duty discharged by our police officers. These are the people who attack our men and women in uniform and undermine the authority of the democratic state.”

Officers and Covid-19

“I pay tribute to the 840 men and women in blue and support staff who succumbed to Covid-19 since its outbreak early last year. When we urged everyone to stay home as part of our fight against this deadly virus, our police officers were out there in the streets serving the nation and enforcing the lockdown regulations for the safety of all South Africans.”

Transforming SA 

“Let us transform the anger we feel, the frustration, into a sense of determination to jointly rid our streets of all forms of crime. To all our men and women in blue, I call on you to honour your departed colleagues by remaining vigilant at all times and ensuring no police officer dies in the hands of criminals.”

Defend yourselves within confines of the law

“Defend your own lives and the lives of our law-abiding citizens. I also want to call upon the public to partner with the police in the fight against crime. It is because of the collaboration and determination as well as the real focus between ordinary citizens and structures such as the community police forums that police were able to contain the violence and the looting that erupted in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng in July.”

Tackling criminality

“Criminals live with us in our communities. We must work together towards strengthening community-police relations and bring strategic stakeholders on board to bolster the efforts of the police to bring down the levels of serious and violent crime in our country.”