Friday, November 13, 2009

South African crime "more violent" says Zuma

Cape Town - The nature of crime in South Africa is "different" to that of other countries, President Jacob Zuma said in Parliament on Thursday.


"The crime in South Africa is different from other countries ... it is different from the point of view that this one is violent, more violent than in any other part of the world.

Related:
"Shoot the bastards" - Fikile Mbalula, Deputy minister of police says "we cannot say to South Africans, despair" over crime

Zuma was responding to question in the National Assembly regarding changes to Section 49 of the Criminal Procedure Act.

Section 49 states that if someone suspected of a serious crime resists arrest, the police may "use such force as may in the circumstances be reasonably necessary to overcome the resistance or prevent the person concerned from fleeing".

He said the government planned to "expedite" changes to that section of the act in a bid to "limit the number of police killed by criminals".

'Criminals don't give warnings'

Zuma said the violent nature of crime in South Africa made it imperative to modify the law to give police greater clarity on when they can shoot to kill.

"The crime in South Africa is different from other countries ... it is different from the point of view that this one is violent, more violent than in any other part of the world.

"We are saying we need to fight crime and that when criminals are cornered they take out guns. They don't warn, they kill, and many police have died as a result of that.

"In the spur of the moment, what do you do as a policeman? Should you say, 'because I'm a very good policeman I am here, I have got a gun, but I am not going shoot you?' "

Responding to concerns from the Democratic Alliance that the law change could see a return to the practice of "shooting unarmed citizens in the back", Zuma said the amendment would be in line with the Constitution.

"The technical amendment of Section 49 will take cognisance of the founding principles of our Constitution. The exact wording of this amendment is being finalised."

Zuma acknowledged that police officers' were not adequately trained on the use of deadly force.

"Therefore the proposed amendment that seeks to provide more clarity, needs to be complemented by training of all police officers on relevant sections of the legislation," he told MPs.

Civilian casualties 'unavoidable'

Deputy Police Minister Fikile Mbalula said earlier on Thursday that it is unavoidable that civilians will die in the crossfire between police and criminals.

"In the course of any duty the innocent will be victimised," Mbalula told reporters in Parliament.

"In this particular situation where you are caught in combat with criminals, innocent people are going to die not deliberately but in the exchange of fire. They are going to be caught on the wrong side, not deliberately, but unavoidably."

Mbalula said the amendment expected to be tabled in Parliament next year would not amount to an overhaul of the act.

Lawmakers would change the act "in terms of emphasis on the word 'necessary'" to remove ambiguity in the law.

It also gives police the right to use lethal force if their lives or those of innocent bystanders are in danger. -SAPA

Hat tip: Black Coffee

5 Opinion(s):

WHITEADDER said...

Great ! Now that Mr. Big has noticed it I am sure he will be very understanding if we Whites defend our families and homes with a bit more than an catty.

Johan said...

It's a civil war situation, then.

Loggi said...

Greg, I suppose you will now argue with Zuma about the crime.
What have you been preaching all along,very isolated huh?

Anonymous said...

we used to live in sa,now we just survive in sa.thats a big difference

Loggi said...

we used to live in sa,now we just survive in sa.
Very well said Anon