“The South African Police Service’s shooting policy creates serious concerns after Mr. Kobus de Vries, a farmer from Babanango, KwaZulu-Natal was shot dead by the Police,” Dr. Pieter Mulder, Leader of the Freedom Front Plus and Deputy Minister of Agriculture said.
“The FF Plus demands a full investigation into exactly what had happened. In the light of the French couple who were also shot dead by the Police last week, it is time for the Police to spell out its shooting policy again and explain it to every police member,” according to Dr. Mulder.
“Where Police are shot at, Police have the right to protect themselves and shoot back. There is however a big difference between a professional police force which use force in a controlled manner and a “trigger happy” police force who, without any discernment, abuse their power,” Mulder said.
“The police force’s action should always be accompanied with the minimum of force. If the Police’s shooting policy is not clear, any member of the public could suddenly find him or herself in a shooting situation after, for example, only a slight traffic offence,” according to Mulder.
In various court cases members of the public have been found guilty of murder and culpable homicide because, according to the judge, they had used too much force in their attempts to defend themselves against violence. One may not use more force than is necessary to fend off the danger, is the legal argument. The same certainly applies to the Police. If Mr. de Vries’ family alleges that he was shot in the back, serious questions about Police action start to arise which has to be investigated.