Cops heed order to shoot to kill

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

The police seem to be heeding politicians' call to fight fire with fire, judging by the number of criminals who have died at their hands recently.

In KwaZulu-Natal five suspected criminals died at the hands of the police in August and September.

Yesterday MEC for transport, community safety and liaison Bheki Cele repeated his controversial statement that police must shoot to kill.

He was reacting to the shooting of a police officer in KwaMashu.

He urged officers not to die with their guns in their pockets, but instead "to shoot to kill".

His call comes a week after Deputy Safety and Security Minister Susan Shabangu called on police to fight fire with fire.

She was addressing the widows of slain police officers in Pretoria.

In the latest incident a Durban man suspected of killing Superintendent Zethembe Chonco was shot dead by police in KwaDukuza yesterday.

On Saturday a 22-year-old man was killed by police after he and four others robbed a woman of her handbag in Pietermaritzburg.

Police gave chase and after failing to stop the suspects, fired at the suspects' vehicle.

Police arrested all five suspects but discovered that one had been shot in the back of the head.

He was taken to Edendale hospital where he later died.

On August 21 police shot and killed a man they believed was behind the ATM bombings in the province.

This brought to three the number of ATM bombing suspects who have perished in the province in one month in shootouts with detectives.

Early last month the police shot and killed two ATM bombing suspects, including alleged kingpin Fukani Zwane, 35.