Cele reaffirms 'shoot to kill' to SAPS recruits

NATIONAL Police Commissioner Bheki Cele has again told police to use force against criminals.

Cele was addressing 1697 new recruits at a passing-out parade at the Pretoria Police Training College yesterday.

He said he wanted to see police officers who were healthy, disciplined and physically fit.

"It is crucial that police maintain their physical and mental fitness," he said. "Trainees look beautiful with flat stomachs. You should not go to stations and start growing big stomachs.

"How can you chase a criminal for several blocks and make an arrest if you are overweight, unfit and unhealthy? How can you demand respect from the community if your uniform does not fit you? The discipline instilled in you by the college must remain. The physical structure of a police officer must throw fear into criminals."

Cele said the trainees had received exceptional training.

"It gives me confidence that they will win the war against crime."

Cele reiterated that the police should act decisively in situations were their life is in danger.

"No police officer must die with a gun in their hand. The police should not be trigger-happy but any criminal with a gun in the hand should not shoot at the police. We are not training you to open new graves, but do not let criminals prevail over you."

He warned that he would not tolerate corruption and unbecoming behaviour from SAPS members.

"The SAPS is not a zama zama organisation," he said. Self-discipline is equally important. The time of getting rotten potatoes to join the force with preconceived ideas of demoralising members are over. I want you to go that extra mile over the festive season and through to the World Cup and beyond.

"Your development at various stations in the country should add fundamental value to the broader strategy of fighting crime. If are ill-disciplined, we will immediately change your uniform from blue to orange."

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