FURY OVER RISING SHOOT TO KILL TOLL

THE government's "shoot to kill" approach towards armed criminals has come under fire as the killings of unarmed suspects by the police continue unabated.

THE government's "shoot to kill" approach towards armed criminals has come under fire as the killings of unarmed suspects by the police continue unabated.

Two more killings were reported in Mpumalanga following a police raid that turned violent at Matsulu, outside Nelspruit.

The bodies were found after the raid, prompting the Independent Complaints Directorate to launch an investigation.

Sowetan reported on Monday that the police shot and killed a fleeing and unarmed Kgothatso Ndobe of Atteridgeville, Pretoria, at the weekend.

The ICD has revealed that the number of deaths in police custody and those resulting from police actions increased by 15percent between 2007-08 and 2008-09, reaching a staggering 912.

This was after a fruit vendor was shot dead on Monday.

ICD spokesperson Moses Dlamini said they would oppose bail for two constables charged with the recent killing of a street vendor in Pretoria who was shot in the eye and arm when he prevented the cops from taking his sweets without paying. The cops were off duty and allegedly drunk when they attacked the Angolan vendor on Sunday morning.

Reacting to these incidents yesterday the Young Communist League said it was "dismayed and repulsed".

The ANC-led administration was also lambasted by Cope.

"This is an assault on our human rights culture and is based on quick-fix solutions to our societal problems," said Cope spokesperson Sipho Ngwema.

"The bankruptcy of this approach will be proven by the rising numbers of innocent people being killed by police."

He said the government needed to recruit better trained individuals into the police ranks in order to ensure proper investigation of criminal matters.

"We are surprised by Cosatu's silence on this matter because the majority of these victims are their own members in the townships and people who voted for the ANC," quipped Ngwema.

He equated the government's latest approach to "instant gratification of those in charge".

"There is no data or scientific proof to show that our problems can be solved through the barrel of a gun," said Ngwema.

At the time of going to press the trade union's Patrick Craven could not comment as he was driving.

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