ISS: Police now too violent

2013-08-12 15:35
(File, Sapa)

(File, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - The militarisation of police unleashed the use of maximum force which has become difficult to control, the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) said on Monday.

"It is now a situation where police have become too violent, with criminal cases and civil claims against the police increasing, ISS head of governance, crime, and justice Gareth Newham, said.

The amendment of a section of the Police Act made it easy for police to use maximum force.

"This was driven home by terms such as 'maximum force' and 'shoot to kill' used by former national police commissioner Bheki Cele, emphasising the use of force to try to quell crime," he said.

Newham was speaking at an Institute for the Advancement of Journalism seminar titled "Reporting South Africa's Policing Crisis: Marikana One Year Later".

Friday marks a year since the strike-related unrest at Lonmin's Marikana mine in North West. On 16 August, 34 people, almost all miners, were killed in a clash with police. Ten people, including police officers and security guards died the week before.

Newham said police were relying on the Farlam Commission of Inquiry instead of launching their own investigation into what happened at Marikana, so that they prevented a similar incident from happening.

"The problem of police brutality and corruption has created a situation where it has become difficult for police to fight crime," he said.

The commission is a judicial inquiry into the events at Marikana.
Read more on:    police  |  iss  |  police brutality  |  marikana inquiry  |  marikana anniversary

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