KZN shootings | Experts caution against excessive use of force

todayApril 4, 2024 38

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Criminologist, Guy Lamb, says the fatal shooting of suspects by police, instead of taking them to a court of law to answer for their crime, undermines justice.
Lamb was reacting to the recent spate of killings of suspected criminals by KZN police.
In the latest incident, police shot dead nine suspects during a shootout in Marianhill.

The suspects, who were wanted for various crimes in the province, are also linked to the attack of a young girl who was raped while her mother was made to watch the ordeal during a house robbery.

A shootout with police ensued when officers pounced on a house following information that the suspects were planning a hit on someone.

While some South Africans have hailed the police for their no-nonsense stance against the alleged criminals, Lamb says this could be problematic in the long run.

The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) agrees with Lamb.
The organisation’s manager, Lizette Lancaster, believes the police’s fatal retaliation to criminals is a two-edged sword.
“One either celebrates wins, especially when victims see that perpetrators are brought to book or it can (the excessive use of force) lead to the erosion of trust.”
Crime expert, Professor Jacob Mofokeng, says criminals going toe to toe with police in KwaZulu-Natal can be attributed to the high levels of violent, organised crime in that province.
However, Mofokeng says, it remains unclear why criminals in the province seem more ready to risk their lives and be involved in shootouts with police compared to their counterparts elsewhere in the country.
Social media users are also weighing in on the issue, with some praising the police in KwaZulu-Natal for shooting to kill alleged criminals who have communities living in fear.

Written by: Nokwazi Qumbisa

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