POLICE minister Fikile Mbalula has told police to “shoot to kill” if they come under fire from criminals.
Speaking at the SAPS training centre in Pretoria after being in office for 25 days‚ Mbalula reiterated his warning to criminals that they “will meet fire with fire“.
“Police must be ruthless against those who are armed… But what I am saying is if they are shooting at you‚ you shoot back‚” Mbalula said.
“Shoot to kill‚” he said.
He gave an update on strategic planning of the police‚ with the fight against criminals taking priority‚ saying the SAPS would escalate “the war against crime“.
Mbalula said the police were currently developing a policy which would act as a guideline for officers on when to use force.
We will meet fire with fire
“We will meet fire with fire‚” he said.
“We will shoot to protect the innocent‚ we will shoot to protect ourselves and members of the force‚” he said.
Mbalula acknowledged that crime was “a major battle” for society‚ but as part of the strategic planning under his leadership he wanted to ensure the demilitarisation of the police.
He said specialised units such as the Public Order Policing and the Tactical Response units would receive the necessary training to “address perceptions” that they were militarised.
“The TRT will be used to deal with dangerous criminals. We will meet them head on in terms of our specialised units‚” Mbalula said.
“Criminals can run‚ but we will find them‚” he said. “They must not mix with ordinary members of the community.”
Among other strategies the minister said had been adopted at a recent strategic meeting was an anti-gang strategy‚ means to improve the detective services‚ improved criminal investigation and special attention to deal with serial rapists and murders.
Tiso Black Star Group/TimesLIVE