As condolences are pouring in for the families of the slain police officers in Engcobo‚ Eastern Cape‚ the ANC leadership in the province say that the incident indicates that the continued spate of police killings means that this is no longer a matter for police only‚ but for society as a whole.
The party reacted to the murder of five police officials and an off-duty soldier in a police station in the small town between Mtata and Komani.
On Wednesday morning Eastern Cape police spokesperson Captain Khaya Tonjeni said that gunmen stormed the police station and stole weapons.
ANC provincial secretary Lulama Ngcukaitobi said that an intervention by the police’s national office was essential.
“We condemn the continued killing of members of the South African Police Service (Saps) – men and women in uniform who risk their lives daily to ensure the safety of all South African citizens‚” Ngcukaitobi said.
She said that communities in and around Engcobo municipality must report anyone or anything that could lead to arrests of the perpetrators to the police.
“We also call upon the police management across the country to ensure that our police officers are properly armed and well-resourced to defend themselves and innocent citizens.
We shall not sit back and watch our country being hijacked by these criminal elements who continue to turn our children into orphans‚” he said.
National police commissioner General Khehla Sithole condemned the killings‚ saying that he has deployed a team of Saps and Hawks officers to hunt the killers.
“I am appalled and deeply saddened by the cold and callous attack on our colleagues this morning‚” said General Sithole.