ANC supports 'shoot to kill'
The ANC has come out in full support of Deputy Minister of Safety and Security Susan Shabangu for saying police should shoot to kill criminals when their lives are in danger.
But the party has warned police officers against becoming trigger-happy, saying all citizens have the right to life.
ANC president Jacob Zuma told the annual general meeting of the Chambers of Commerce and Industry of South Africa (Chamsa) that the party backed Shabangu's call to "kill the bastards", only within the provisions of Section 49 of the Criminal Procedure Act.
The section relates to the use of lethal force should the lives of police officers or citizens be in imminent danger. Zuma said this view was also shared by Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula.
"However, police must act within the bounds of the law. We obviously cannot, as the ruling party or government, advocate a culture of trigger-happy police officers. Our constitution is unambiguous on the right to life of all citizens," Zuma said.
He said when criminals sought to take away the right to life of citizens, "we have to put the lives of law-abiding citizens and of our police officials first".
He said ANC branches had been instructed to re-establish street committees that would actively fight crime in the villages, suburbs and townships. The committees would complement the police in the fight against criminals.
Meanwhile, Chamsa president Mathews Phosa has announced his resignation from the business body. He told the delegates that as the ANC general-treasurer, the party "requires me to do a good job for the organisation".
But he said he would choose to serve on one of Chamsa's affiliates, which are Sacob, Nafcoc, Fabcos and the Afrikaanse Handelsinstituut.