POLICE Commissioner Bheki Cele has urged the police not to flaunt the Constitution, badges and identity documents at criminals but shoot them if they felt threatened.
"We don't want this country to be run by criminals. The police must round them up and arrest them," Cele told the Press Club in Pretoria yesterday.
He said criminals were heavily armed with R5 assault rifles.
"The only language R5s understand is R5s. The police do not have to think twice and lose their lives," he said.
Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said the talk about fighting crime is the real thing.
"There is no policy on shoot to kill ... but we can't continue to have particular bands of scoundrels walking freely in the community," he said.
Mthethwa said the amendment of Section 49 of the Criminal Procedure Act was close to finalisation as it has now been presented to Parliament.
The current act prevents police from shooting fleeing criminals.
However, he said that the new act would not mean a licence to kill for trigger-happy officers.