Police mustn’t hesitate to act against protesters despite Marikana – AfriForum

2013-10-03 18:34

Lobby group AfriForum wants a plan from national police commissioner General Riah Phiyega on how the police will protect communities against strikers since it believes the Marikana shooting has “paralysed the police”.

“This request was submitted because the incident at Marikana has apparently made the police reluctant to act against violent strikers,” it said in a statement.

But spokesperson Ian Cameron could not explain what kind of actions the police should take against protesters in light of the 34 deaths in Marikana and Andries Tatane’s death during a service-delivery protest in Meqheleng, Ficksburg.

The statement also follows the death of a 17-year-old girl in Cato Manor, Durban, at the hands of police during a housing protest on Monday.

Cameron was adamant that action had to be taken against violent strikers because, as he said: “Taxpayers cannot keep on footing the bill for damages which could have been prevented by the state.

“I am sympathetic towards the police because either way they will be criticised. If they act harshly they are in trouble and if they don’t act they are still criticised,” he said.

According to AfriForum, violent strikes are a trend and the damage caused becomes the taxpayers’ problem.

“It seems that Marikana has made the police afraid to act against these strikers. AfriForum wants to know why strikers are openly allowed to become violent and do damage to property.

“We also want to know how many of these criminals are prosecuted,” he said, adding that unions like the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union were using their political weight to get the upper hand over the police.

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