‘Use force proportional to threat, don’t die with the resources we’ve given you’ — Cele on rise in cop killings

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Police minister Bheki Cele has urged officers to be the “first to act” and use “force proportional to the threat” as cop killings continue to rise.

According to the latest crime statistics 31 police officers were killed from April to June. Eighteen officers were killed during the same period last year.

Cele spoke at the funeral service of sergeant Kedimetse Masilo who was shot dead with another officer, Const Okaetse Mandindi, while chasing a suspect spotted with a reported stolen hired vehicle. 

“I plead with you not to die with the resources and tools we have given you.

“Be the first to act when you have to use force proportional to the threat. Be vigilant and operationally ready to act in any circumstances. If force is required, it must at all times be necessary, reasonable and proportional,” he said.

Daniel Alberts, who is accused of killing the two police officers, is set to undergo psychological evaluation. He appeared at the Kimberley magistrate’s court and indicated he had been admitted to several psychiatric facilities. 

“He will be remanded until October 5 when he is expected to appear in court virtually. Investigations led by the police are continuing in this matter,” National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Mojalefa Senokoatsane said.   

Previously, Cele described Alberts as a “serial criminal”. 

“This suspect had no business being out in society as he had several brushes with the law in other parts of the country and should have been behind bars,” said Cele. 

“What is giving me a lot of pain is this guy was supposed to be in prison. He was arrested and was in court four times, several times his cases were withdrawn. Sometimes even when he has been found guilty and sentenced, you find the sentence was suspended. 

“We hope this time the courts and justice system will be stronger to ensure he is not a person to be given the right to be moving around since he has caused a lot of damage by killing these two members.” 

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