KWAZULU-NATAL MEC for transport, community safety and liaison Willies Mchunu has called on the police to protect themselves when they are in the firing line by using excessive force if necessary.
Mchunu's call comes after the shooting of an off-duty police officer, Detective Patrick Nzimande.
Nzimande was shot at the weekend while visiting the rural area of eHashini in Taylors Halt outside Pietermaritzburg.
Mchunu said far too many officers had been seriously injured or killed by criminals. "We are saying enough is enough. Our officers should fight fire with fire to win the war against crime."
Nzimande is in a critical condition in hospital.
Two men linked to Nzimande's shooting were arrested while three others died in a shootout with police.
Meanwhile, a Road Traffic Inspectorate officer, Charles Mnyandu of Park Rynie, died when his car plunged into a sugar cane plantation on the R612 Ixopo Road in southern KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday.
Police spokesperson Vincent Pandarum said Mnyandu's Isuzu bakkie had veered off the road and plunged into the plantation.
Pandarum said Mnyandu died at his residence in Park Rynie later in the day.