A police officer has been killed every 10 days since national police commissioner Riah Phiyega took office, she said on Monday.
“At least six officers have been murdered while on duty in the past 60 days that I have been in office. Statistically, that means one is killed every ten days,” she told reporters in Johannesburg.
Phiyega met with Gauteng commissioner Lt-Gen Mzwandile Petros as part of her visits to provinces to find out what strategies were in place to fight crime.
She said her department was doing everything it could to protect its 200,000 officers, but communities should also play their part.
“The people who murder police officers are sons, nieces, nephews and daughters. We need the community’s help to fight this.”
Two police officers were killed in Gauteng last week. Reservist Warrant Officer Moladluzi Ramatsetse was attacked on Thursday in Orlando, Soweto, when patrolling police approached a man thought to have dagga in his possession.
When he tried to search him the man pulled out a knife and stabbed Ramatsetse twice in the chest.
In Akasia, Pretoria, on Tuesday, an officer was stabbed while police were trying to arrest a man who had stabbed and wounded another.
Petros said the training of officers had nothing to do with the killings.
“I have been to almost all the scenes where police were killed. We find that they are ambushed while trying to do their work,” he said.
Phiyega said her department would release statistics on police killings for this year in September.
She would visit the North West and Northern Cape next.
Vehicle hijackings down
Vehicle hijackings in Gauteng have decreased from 25 to 16 a day this year, provincial police commissioner Lt-Gen Mzwandile Petros said.
“That is a significant reduction and we do not plan to change our crime-fighting strategy in that regard, but improve on it.”
At least 50 percent of the country’s crime happened in Gauteng, Petros said. He said the number could come down further if police introduced “certain things”.
“We will be producing our research project next month that will detail how we plan to reduce that,” he said.