S.African ‘deadly force’ police legislation gets the nod
South African lawmakers on Wednesday approved a bill setting out rules for police to use deadly force to fight crime in one of the world's most violent countries.
The amendment tightens the language of an existing act which governs when officers may use force in apprehending suspects, and allowing it when “reasonably necessary and proportional in the circumstances”.
It will change current law which stipulates use of lethal force only if lives are under threat and bans shooting at fleeing suspects, even in serious crimes.
The bill was passed in parliament’s upper house, the National Council of Provinces, and will now go to President Jacob Zuma for signing into law.
Although South Africa’s murder rate has steadily declined since the end of white-minority rule in 1994, an average of 43 people are killed every day.
The police are also hit hard. Earlier this week, police commissioner Riah Phiyega said six officers had been killed on duty in the 60 days since she had taken office.