South African President Jacob Zuma has admitted South Africa’s violent reality. He urged police officers to fight back after it emerged that about 58 police officers have been killed in the line of duty year 2015. He was speaking during the South African Police Service Commemoration Day which was held at the Union Buildings, in Pretoria, on Sunday.
Zuma honoured the fallen police officers as the defenders of the state’s security while addressing the South African Police Service members as well as the families of those killed during the course of the year. “We salute all our fallen police officers. We appreciate their commitment to the well being and safety of the people of this country,” he said. He went on to say that the country salutes those families that attended the commemoration. “Your loved ones have paid a supreme price for peace and stability. Their contribution to building a safer South Africa will always be remembered by all your compatriots.” The Minister of Police Nathi Nhleko, his deputy, Makhotso Sotyu, and the National Commissioner of the Police, General Riah Phiyega also joined the families of the fallen members of the South African Police Service in laying wreaths. This was as a sign of respect and honour for the fallen heroes.
It emerged that the total number of police officers killed this year, since January, adds up to 58. Twenty seven of them were killed on duty and the other 31 were killed off duty. The total number of the South African Police Service members killed on duty between April 2014 and March 2015 is 63. In order to improve the safety of the police, the president said, “I have directed the minister of police to do everything possible to provide the police with the tools they need to fight crime effectively, and to protect themselves.”