Kill the bastards' South African police advised http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2008/04/10/wsafrica110.xml By Sebastien Berger in Johannesburg Last Updated: 1:11pm BST 10/04/2008 South Africa’s deputy security minister has told police how to tackle rampant crime in their cities: “kill the bastards”, and do not worry about regulations. 'Kill the bastards' South African police advised Police were told to fire 'kill shots' “You must kill the bastards if they threaten you or the community,” Susan Shabangu, told a local police forum in Pretoria. “I want to assure the police station commissioners and policemen and women that they have permission to kill these criminals. “You must not worry about the regulations. That is my responsibility. Your responsibility is to serve and protect,” she added. “I won’t tolerate any pathetic excuses for you not being able to deal with crime. You have been given guns, now use them. I want no warning shots. You have one shot and it must be a kill shot.” advertisement South Africa has one of the highest crime rates in the world, with more than 19,000 people murdered last year - more than 50 a day - in a population of 46 million, giving it a murder rate 32 times higher than that of the UK. Thabo Mbeki’s ANC government has long been accused of failing to tackle crime, but the party’s populist new leader Jacob Zuma has called it a “national emergency” and said there should be a debate on re-introducing the death penalty. Miss Shabangu told her audience: “If criminals dare to threaten the police or the livelihood or lives of innocent men, women and children, they must be killed. End of story. "The constitution says criminals must be kept safe, but I say no, no, no!” Many South Africans have enthused about her comments. “Hooray... finally,” wrote one contributor on a newspaper website. “This should be the headlines on every national newspaper. Hopefully it will make those bastards think twice.” Another added: “Finally someone has balls to say this. Congratulations minister!” There are proposals in South Africa to make gun ownership illegal, and one contributor said: “The people who would disarm the public would rather see your spouse or children raped and murdered rather than you explaining why there is a dead intruder in your home.” However, a former policeman warned: “If a trigger happy cop is going to start shooting indiscriminately, even if he/she feels it to be justified, we are regressing and definitely not progressing.” And the opposition Democratic Alliance called for the deputy minister to be sacked. Dianne Kohler Barnard, its spokesman on safety and security, said Miss Shabangu was “best known in parliament for ill-bred insults” and her comments would “inevitably incite vigilantism”. “For a deputy minister to essentially say that we should ignore the constitution is a statement that should have her removed from her position and from parliament,” she said.