Sadness filled the marquee where images of 18 traffic and metro police officers killed in the line of duty were beamed onto big screens at the Traffic Police College near Pretoria yesterday.
A total of 313 have been killed since 2004, having crashed into animals, been run over, ambushed and beaten or shot to death.
Limpopo MEC for community safety, Mapula Mokaba-Phukwana, speaking at a traffic police remembrance day, said some had themselves to blame for their demise.
“Some of these killings were as a result of corrupt relationships between [police officer] and the criminal,” she said.
Mokaba-Phukwana cautioned traffic police against hiding in bushes, behind trees and under bridges to pounce on motorists.
“The community need visibility; that is not visibility. Do not jump from behind a tree into the middle of the road. Be where you will be visible.”
Gauteng is the deadliest province for cops. Of 18 killed in all provinces, 13 died in Gauteng in the 2014/2015 financial year.
Six were from Johannesburg, six from Tshwane, and one from Ekurhuleni.