Following a shocking spate of police killings in recent months, a number of Western Cape cabinet ministers and senior police officials held a high level meeting to discuss solutions to the issue. The meeting, which was called by Premier Helen Zille, was attended by provincial police commissioner, Arno Lamoer, and Minister of Community Safety, Dan Plato amongst others.
Speaking to VOC’s In the Fast Lane, Plato said there had been an urgent need for local government to show its support for the police forces, in light of a disturbing increase in police fatalities. He said there was a vital need for systems to be put into place that could address the issue.
During the meeting, Plato said various plans were discussed on how best to tackle the problem and noted a resolution had been made for the talks to would continue past the initial meeting.
“I myself had talks yesterday with the national police commissioner about the killings, and we will continue standing together, and supporting the police as far as we can,” he said.
Amongst the resolutions to come out the meeting was the decision to implement a programme that would sensitise the public about the problem and to rally them behind the police forces. He noted they had already spoken about the issue at a public meeting in Beacon Valley and were now looking to address people at a number of other public gatherings.
“We will address this issue to make the public aware of this spate of cop killings. I will also ask my colleagues in parliament, that whenever they hold meetings in the communities, to talk to them about this issue,” he said.
Plato also rejected the notion that government were only showing concern for police officials, saying there was a need to be serious about every killing that took place on the Cape Flats, regardless of who the victims were.
He concluded that there was an urgent need for better control over firearms in terms of the legislature and government needed to tighten up its legislation on gun control.
“I was very pleased to hear yesterday that this is indeed going to happen. New gun control laws are being rewritten, and I’ve asked that the draft be sent out for public comments, so they can give their input into the legislation,” he said. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)