Each year on January 27th, the South African Police Service pauses and remembers the sacrifices that the country’s officers have made in their quest for a safer South Africa.
As we mark National Police Day, Minister of Police, General Bheki Cele would like to salute all police officers who continue to put their lives on the line each day.
This year, the National Police Day is marred by a global pandemic that has claimed thousands of lives around the country and hundreds within the police service.
COVID-19 has so far infected 26 382 members, since the start of the pandemic in South Africa. Over 22 thousand of members infected, have since recovered and are back to their posts. To date, 501 police officers have died from COVID-19 related complications.
Minister Cele says, while it is encouraged to “STAY AT HOME” in order to fight this invisible enemy, police officers continue to go out there and confront this virus head-on when enforcing the law.
“Indeed it is a dark time for all of us in the SAPS as the pandemic continues to rob us of the opportunity to unite in our collective grief and give our fallen colleagues a befitting police send-off. However, as your Minister, I’m calling on you all to unite in solidarity with the fallen members and continue to improve the service you provide to those who need it.”
Minister Cele has sent out his heartfelt condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of the members who have succumbed and wishes a speedy recovery to those who are in hospital.
The Minister remains encouraged that the impact of the virus has not slowed down the prevention, combating and investigation of crime.
“While you unite your efforts in ensuring maximum adherence to the Lockdown regulations, don’t lose sight of the enemy of crime, continue to work closely with community members to squeeze out criminality in what ever shape or form.” – Cele concluded.