Following the shooting of a police sergeant attached to the Durban Harbour and the subsequent theft of his firearm, the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) has called for tougher sentences on perpetrators who attacked police officers.
The IFP called the attack “sickening” and “utterly appalling” in a statement issued by a member of the party’s Kwa-Zulu Natal provincial legislature, spokesperson and liaison on community safety Blessed Gwala.
“The IFP says criminals who attack the police should be jailed with ‘no ifs or buts’. If you attack a police officer, you need to know you will go to prison; no ifs, no buts. I’m sure the public [feels] exactly the same. How have we come to a point as a society to the fact where we almost accept this every day?” asked Gwala in the statement.
He went on to add that he believes the attacks should be strongly condemned by all sectors of society.
“Attacks on police officers are increasing because criminals are no longer scared of the police. The attack is a symptom of people having less fear of the law,” added Gwala.
Speaking on behalf of his party, Gwala also commented on the illegal trade of firearms stating that the incident was an illustration of where the guns used to commit crimes came from.
“The legal trade feeds the illegal trade, the fact that there are guns in circulation means that criminals are able to get hold of them. Stolen guns pose a significant risk to community safety. Whether stolen from a gun store or an individual gun owner’s collection, these guns often head straight into the illegal underground gun market, where they are sold, traded, and used to facilitate violent crimes.”
In addition to the call for harsher sentences for criminals who attack officers, the party has called for the fight against the proliferation of illegal arms to be heightened in an effort to “remove the tools of crime from these criminals”.
(Compiled by Kaunda Selisho.)