South Africa's president said Friday that South African police do not
have a "license to kill" and are expected to observe the law and
respect the rights of innocent citizens.
Jacob Zuma made the remarks in a statement a day after his deputy minister of police, Fikile Mbalula, said that the killing of innocent victims is inevitable collateral damage as South African police battle the world's highest crime rate.
Mbalula said police should not be expected to retreat when they are pursing criminals. He said police should be empowered to "shoot the bastards."
A 3-year-old was recently killed by police. The South African newspaper The Times says an officer mistook a pipe the child was holding for a gun. The newspaper says no pipe has been found.
Last month, a woman was killed when police opened fire on her car, incorrectly believing that her vehicle had been hijacked.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.