HRW report on SA police 'subjective'

2014-01-22 07:26
A police officer stands guard in Cape Town CBD. (Nielen de Klerk, News24)

A police officer stands guard in Cape Town CBD. (Nielen de Klerk, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - The Human Rights Watch (HRW) 2014 World Report was "generalising and subjective" in its assessment of the police, the ministry said on Tuesday.

In the report, HRW said: "Serious concerns remain about the ongoing conduct and capacity of the SA Police Service, both in terms of the use of force in general, as well as the ability to deal with riots in a rights-respecting manner."

The comment was made in a section dealing with the Farlam Commission of Inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the deaths of 44 people - 34 of them, mainly striking mineworkers, at the hands of the police - at Marikana in 2012.

"The fact of the matter is that each public protest takes a different dynamic, whether peaceful or violent," the ministry said in a statement.

Police training

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa's spokesperson Zweli Mnisi said the report created the impression that the police used the same approach and operational plan for all for public protests, and created the impression that all police were brutal.

"We wish to reiterate the point that, as the ministry of police, we are concerned when we hear about reports of police who abuse their powers. We are equally concerned when we hear about police officers who are killed while responding to crime call-outs."

Mnisi said police entry level training had been changed to include basic crowd management, and that existing operational members of the public order policing unit had undergone refresher training. About 2 340 officers still had to do so.

They were also being trained as first responders to assess potential crowd management situations and to understand the process of role function activation.

"During the last financial year, 12 399 crowd-related incidents were responded to and successfully stabilised, including 10 517 peaceful incidents such as assemblies, gatherings and meetings," said Mnisi.

Protests ‘accompanied by violence’

Of these, 1 882 were violent, and 3 680 arrests were made.

"As we have seen on many occasions, many protests have been accompanied by serious provocations, intimidations, public violence and even elements of criminality."

He said that when arrests were made, no one claimed responsibility for the actions, hampering investigations and convictions.

The policing of protests also drew police away from normal duties, which meant resources had to be redirected.

‘We are a caring govt’

Mnisi said the organisers of protests should be criminally charged if the events were not orderly and peaceful.

"There is no prevalent culture of impunity within the police service.

"We are a caring government and therefore there is no carte blanche that we give to our officers to kill innocent people who protest."

He said every police service had its rotten apples and South Africa was no exception, but that they were dealt with under the law.

- SAPA

Read more on:    hrw  |  police  |  police brutality
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Man dies in scooter crash

2014-04-19 17:02

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
27 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

We will give you police - Zille

A total of 250 000 police on the streets is one of the election promises Helen Zille made during an anti-drugs and gangsterism march in Manenberg, Cape Town.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Torch 9810

The BlackBerry Torch 9810 gives you the powerful combination of...

From R2820.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Self-indulgence may be strong today. You may want to enjoy yourself to the fullest and share it with those that make you feel...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.