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Activist welcomes Police efforts in KZN

by Zahid Jadwat

A police officer at the scene in Mariannhill where nine suspects were killed in a shoot-out with police. [Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/Independent Newspapers]


An anti-crime activist has applauded the South African Police Service (SAPS) for their deadly crime fighting in KwaZulu-Natal. Imtiaz Syed, chairperson of eThekwini Secure, said it was indicative of good effort. But netizens think otherwise.
Reacting to a deadly shootout between police and alleged criminals in Mariannhill, Durban, Sayed said it indicated a turn of the tide.

“We are now becoming more aware of the efforts of the SAPS and it’s something that we’re not used to. It’s time for us to get used to it and we should encourage the SAPS to start publicising all their efforts,” he said.


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Message to criminals

Nine suspects were killed on Wednesday in a gun battle with police. They were among more than 28 killed by police within 10 weeks. Sceptical netizens questioned whether it might constitute extrajudicial killing.

Taking to X, @MaS1banda asked: “At what point do people stop applauding the police for excessive use of force (that can manifest in other aspects of their lives), because “criminals deserve it” and realise how gravely dangerous this is for the (whole) community?”

“After all these deaths, what accountability…?” she added.

But Syed was of the view that there were oversight measures to ensure police did not overstep boundaries. He pointed to the Independent Investigative Directorate (IPID) and community policing forums (CPFs).

“It’s not about the criminals itself; it’s about how do we move forward as society and how do we ensure that we eradicate crime so that there are no startups from high-schools that come out of poverty,” he said.

He said it was time to “start instilling fear” among criminals “to ensure that we build a better society for us moving forward”.

Wednesday’s deadly shootout in KwaZulu-Natal was not an isolated incident. In Emalahleni, Mpumalanga, five other suspects were killed in a botched cash-in-transit heist.

According to The Sowetan, IPID will probe whether police were acting within the law as the number of those killed by police inundated the unit. The police watchdog recorded 393 similar deaths last year, it reported.

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