Members of the SA Police Service will attend a function at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Sunday to commemorate their colleagues who have been killed this year.
President Jacob Zuma, Police Minister Nathi Nhleko, his deputy Makhotso Sotyu and National Commissioner of Police Riah Phiyega are expected to join the officers’ next of kin in a wreath laying ceremony at the police memorial at the buildings.
According to tables tweeted by the police, 58 police officers have died between January 1 and August 24 this year, compared with 57 for the same period last year.
The killing of the officers showed an increase of four police officers killed on duty, and a decrease of three being killed off duty, compared with 2014.
— SA Police Service (@SAPoliceService) September 5, 2015
Since 2005/06, a total of 937 police officers have been either killed or murdered either on or off duty, according to SAPS.
The commemoration comes at a time when Phiyega has asked Zuma to give her more time to say why she should not be suspended pending an inquiry into her fitness to hold office.
This was among the recommendations by retired judge Ian Farlam relating to his inquiry into the August 2012 shooting of miners at Lonmin’s Marikana Platinum Mine which left 44 people dead during strike-related unrest.
Nhleko has also been criticised for justifying upgrades at Zuma’s home in Nkandla which had included a ”firepool”, and new fences so that cattle would not set off alarms.
After growing animosity towards the police by some sectors of the public and concern over policing methods, this week police officers received praise for their quick responses to a number of robberies including an attempted robbery at the Clearwater Mall west of Johannesburg.