I write this letter in good confidence that it will help us move forward to a better future.
On Saturday evening at the scene of a car theft the car guard, who was apparently scared of getting in trouble himself, accused me of assaulting him when the Parkview police officers arrived at the scene.
The police officer’s immediate response was to call me a racist. I find this extremely disappointing and would like to make the following points:
· The police in this country is already distrusted by the general public
o Acts like this further increases the public’s distrust and dislike of SAPS
· Black people in this country don’t like being called certain names and a white person can get into great trouble if doing so. I am aware of racial sensitivity and therefore intend to treat people from all backgrounds with the utmost respect.
o Being called a racist by a policeman who does not know me at all, my history, my family’s history or anything about me is disappointing
o I think white people in this country are sick and tired of being called racist whenever they do or say anything that black people don’t like, or when they're immediately judged as racists following the faintest suspicion of it being the case. This is especially so for those of us who make a constant effort day in and day out to break down the misperceptions between groups and those of us who sacrifice many hours every week for the empowerment of previously disadvantaged people.
I would like to know if racial polarization is something that concerns Parkview SAPS at all, and if so, what you will do about it with regards to the way that your officers interact with the public, so that this sort of thing does not happen in the future.
May we build towards a slander-free South Africa, and let’s start that in the Parks.