Former Zim Soldiers in SA ‘To Rob, Kill’ – Mbalula

Former Zimbabwean soldiers are illegally entering the country to rob and kill, Police Minister Fikile Mbalula has said.

Mbalula told reporters on Tuesday that he was attacked on Twitter when he said the five men who robbed a Hyde Park Corner mall, Johannesburg, jeweller on April 13 were Zimbabweans.

“Yes, they are from Zimbabwe. There are people who come from Zimbabwe, who run away from the military and they come and promote criminality in South Africa. That is the truth. Why shouldn’t I tell that truth? There are Zimbabwean ex-soldiers who are in this country, robbing banks, promoting criminality.”

Mbalula said these soldiers were running away from President Robert Mugabe’s military.

“To get out of it, they run to South Africa and rob banks. They are on the payroll of criminals. We can’t trace them. They enter illegally and they just come here and do not promote goodwill.”

‘Shoot to kill’

He said his remarks were not xenophobic and that there were many Zimbabwean nationals in the country doing good work.

“They are working in our kitchens, highly educated people. If there is anything that president Mugabe did it is to educate his people. The people who work in your kitchens are doctors. They are more educated than you. Then there is group of these criminals who come from the army. They come to this country. They rob, they terrorise, and kill.”

Mbalula said that instilling fear in criminals would be the police’s mantra. He said he intended implementing several policies to improve the police’s work, and which were at an advanced planning stage.

These included policies to improve the SAPS detective services, to investigate serial rapes, to set up a national anti-gang strategy, and to govern the police’s use of force.

He said that police should shoot to kill when confronted with armed criminals.

“We must be ruthless against armed criminals who kill police, there is no retreat,” Mbalula said. He, however, said he did not want police to act recklessly.

“I am saying to them: ‘If they shoot you, shoot back. Shoot to kill if that is the case. Don’t allow yourselves to be killed whilst criminals are ruthless against you. The law protects you to fight back.'”

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