Pretoria- The killing of police can never be justified and must come to end Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Sunday.
“Their murder can never be justified in our country, we ask our nation to unite in saying that the murder of our police officers is unacceptable and it must end,” Deputy President Ramaphosa said.
He was speaking during the wreath laying ceremony to remember members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) who lost their lives in line of duty. The National Commemoration Day ceremony honoured police officers who lost their lives between 1 April 2015 and 31 March 2016.
“The death of one police officer is one death too many. It is thus heart-breaking to learn that during the last year 72 members of the police service lost their lives, 40 of them in the line of service,” said Deputy President Ramaphosa.
The youngest of the police officers who lost their lives was 28-year old Constable Sabelo Manyanga who lost his life after he was shot two days before Christmas last year while on duty in KwaZulu-Natal.
He had three children with the youngest being one month old.
Deputy President Ramaphisa, who spoke shortly after relatives laid their wreaths at the SAPS memorial site at the Union Buildings on Sunday, commented that it’s difficult to comprehend the depth of the loss tha Constable Manyanga has caused to his family.
“May you all find comfort in the knowledge that millions of South Africans truly value your loved ones and the service they rendered with distinction to the people of South Africa and our nation as a whole.
As the names of your loved ones are etched today on the monument please know that your pain and your sacrifices remain etched in the hearts of all of us as South Africans.”
He said the murder of police officers should not only be condemned but that communities should commit to working with the justice system to ensure that those who commit these crimes pay for their deeds.
“On behalf of government and the people of South Africa we wish to extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of our fallen heroes and heroines. We pray that you heal and gain strength as you rebuild your shattered lives,” he said adding that when a police officer dies we not only “lose a beloved family member” but a valuable skilled, trained and committed patriot is also lost.”