Cops need mental evaluation – Cope

2011-05-11 14:24

Police officers needed to undergo psychological observation before being declared fit to use a firearm, Cope’s Johannesburg mayoral candidate said today.

“They must be of a stable and sound mind,” Preddy Mothopeng said shortly after he was announced as the party’s Johannesburg candidate.

“They should be trained properly and placed in workshop counselling after every six months to ensure they are fit to report for duty.”

He was responding to the recent killings of protester Andries Tatane in Ficksburg and Jeanette Odendaal outside the Kempton Park police station in Johannesburg, allegedly at the hands of police officers.

Mothopeng said police needed to act as peacekeepers.

“Where there are two political parties campaigning in the same area, they [the police] must be able to mediate.”

Police allegedly fired rubber bullets into Tatane’s chest and then beat him with batons during the protest in the Meqheleng township in the Free State last month. Their actions were broadcast on national television. His murder was widely condemned by political parties, trade unions and civil society.

Odendaal, 45, was shot dead, allegedly by a police sergeant, after she crashed into a police van while trying to park her car outside the Kempton Park police station.

The officer, Manape Phineas Kgoale, 38, appeared in the Kempton Park Regional Court last week and was refused bail after it was found that he had a previous firearm-related conviction. It also emerged that Kgoale had a drinking problem. 

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