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Shoot to Kill, South African Minister Tells Police
"You Have Been Given Guns, Now Use Them," Government Minister Instructs Police
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South African police must shoot to kill and ignore regulations in the battle against one of the worst rates of violent crime in the world, a government minister said.
"You must kill the bastards (criminals) if they threaten you or the community. You must not worry about the regulations," said Deputy Safety and Security Minister Susan Shabangu.
"I want no warning shots, you have one shot and it must be a kill shot," she told police officers, according to the Star newspaper on Thursday.
South Africa suffers some of the highest levels of violent crime in the world, with murders, hijackings and rape an everyday occurrence.
Police figures show nearly 20,000 people are murdered a year, sparking public anger at the inability of authorities to ensure safety.
Shabangu told an anti-crime meeting in the capital Pretoria: "I want to assure the police station commissioners and policemen and women from these areas that they have permission to kill these criminals," she said.
"I will not tolerate any pathetic excuses for you not being able to deal with crime, you have been given guns, now use them ... If criminals dare to threaten the police or the livelihood or lives of innocent men, women and children, then they must be killed."
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