By Ebi Kesiena
President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on members of the public to take a stand against police killings.
Ramaphosa stated this on Sunday while speaking in Pretoria at an event to honour police officers and reservists who died in the line of duty.
According to the South African President, the slain police officers were spouses, parents, sons and daughters, siblings, colleagues, and so much more adding that communities should not condone attacks on officers.
Ramaphosa said there must be justice “and there will be justice” for the families of the fallen “heroes and heroines”.
“Today, we pay tribute to our fallen officers for their selflessness and for the sacrifice they made in the act of proudly serving and protecting all people in South Africa.
“Communities need to speak out against police killings. The lives of police officers should be valued not just by their colleagues, but they should also be valued by everyone who lives in our country. Police are there to protect communities and their properties.” said Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa also called on all serving police officers to ensure that these deaths are not in vain.
Also, National Police Commissioner, Fannie Masemola stated that the names of the 34 police officers who died in the line of duty in the 2022/2023 financial year, will all be engraved at the wall of fallen heroes at the SAPS Memorial Site at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.
“As it is customary for the SAPS, the names of the 34 members will now be printed on the wall of remembrance. And will remain for generations to come in the wall of fallen heroes. We know it is a painful day. It’s not a day that’s supposed to happen because we only come here when we come to commemorate the fallen heroes,” said Masemola.
A total of 488 suspects have been arrested for deaths of police officers since 2018.
While a total of 31 police officers have died on and off duty in the past three months.