‘Shoot’ says M’shini wami Zuma

By Daily Maverick Legacy 30 September 2009

President Jacob Zuma has implicitly backed the “shoot to kill” view of gunslinger Police Chief Bheki Cele in a move apparently contradicting a key decision of the Constitutional Court. "Criminals don't take an oath to (fire) warning shots," Zuma told 1 000 police station commanders at the Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria. "If you take a gun out (on) me, that intent is more than clear. The next thing the criminal is going to shoot is me.” The Constitutional Court supposedly clarified the law in 2002 when it tightened up Section 49 of the Criminal Procedure Act requiring that policemen be in danger before they can use force. The court said police may only shoot if they reasonably believed a suspect posed an immediate threat of serious bodily harm to them or the public, or the suspect had just committed such a crime. Lauded at the time for eliminating an evil apartheid law, that ruling came before SA developed a criminal ethic in which 50 people are murdered every day. Zuma was accompanied by Cele, safety & security minister Nathi Mthethwa, justice minister Jeff Radebe and ministers in the presidency Trevor Manuel and Collins Chabane. All nine provincial premiers and safety MECs also attended.

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