POLICE officers have been urged not to hesitate to use their weapons in self-defence and to protect the lives of the people they serve.
Gauteng provincial commissioner Perumal Naidoo, pictured, said this yesterday during the memorial service for officers from the SA Police Service's dog unit and four others who were killed during the Jeppestown, Johannesburg, massacre three years ago.
The four officers - Inspectors Frederick van Heerden, 32, and Victor Mathye, 49, Sergeant Gert Schoeman, 30, and Constable Pieter Seaward, 31 - died in a shootout with a gang of robbers who had just robbed a Pick n Pay supermarket on June 25 2006.
The service was held at the South African Police Service Training Institute in Atteridgeville, Pretoria.
Naidoo said the sentences meted out to the accused in the Jeppestown case "vindicated our members and justified their actions".
"Do not hesitate to use your weapons in defending your safety and that of those that you are called on to protect and serve, but always do so within the parameters of the law," Naidoo told officers attending the memorial service.