It's not easy policing protests - top cop

2014-02-05 14:16
(Picture: AFP)

(Picture: AFP)

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

Johannesburg - The public must refrain from being "armchair critics" when it comes to how the police deal with protests, Gauteng acting commissioner Lieutenant General Lesetja Mothiba said on Wednesday.

"The South African public must realise what is confronting the members [police] on a daily situation while dealing with these issues of protest marches and demonstrations," he told reporters in Johannesburg.

"These are not petty things, these are not issues that you can say 'go read a book... and it will tell you how to deal with these issues'."

Discretion

Police officers had to use their experience daily and apply their discretion, said Mothiba.

He said the police always tried to make sure minimum force was used and that there was no loss of life.

"I want to call upon the public not to be armchair critics and to try and place themselves into the shoes of the members.

"And I can tell you, if you can try to do that you will realise that it's not easy," said Mothiba.

Last month in Gauteng, a man was shot, allegedly by police, after residents protesting over housing barricaded roads with stones and burning tyres in Roodepoort, west of Johannesburg,.

Four police officers were arrested.

Mothiba said Gauteng police had dealt with 569 protest marches in the last three months, of which 122 were violent.

"Places like Khutsong, Bekkersdal, Roodepoort and now Bronkhorstspruit were heavily affected."

Stretched

Protesters in the Bronkhorstpruit area, east of Pretoria, set alight several buildings including a clinic on Wednesday.

Last week, violent service delivery protests erupted in the area. Protesters torched the Zithobeni satellite police station and municipal offices.

Residents have been protesting since Thursday about the high price of electricity.

Mothiba said 39 people would appear in the Bronkhorstspruit Magistrate's Court on Wednesday in connection with the violent protests.

"We condemn the community actions that we've seen the last few days [which] are pure criminality in the form of vandalism."

The protests had stretched police resources to the limit, he said.

Read more on:    police  |  police brutality  |  protests

SHARE:

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
55 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Autobraking: See just how good they are!

Just how good are automatic brakes on cars these days? Two VW models have been praised by top UK research centre Thatcham. Find out why...

 

Stay safe

Pro's and con's of accredited driver-training
Juvenile pillion riders? Play safe...
Need a family ride? SA's top Mommy Cars
Mom's driving-school dream come true
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a tendency to idealise and prepare for the future rather than face the present. Right now life is putting challenges in...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.