Police identify people in CBD unrest

2011-08-31 20:38

Johannesburg - The police have identified people involved in acts of violence associated with ANC Youth League president Julius Malema's disciplinary hearings, a spokesperson said on Wednesday.

"Those who were involved in acts of violence have been identified and arrests may be effected while investigation progresses," Gauteng police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, groups of youths purportedly supporting Malema, and four colleagues up for disciplinary hearings by the ruling party, threw rocks, bottles and bricks at journalists and police in the Johannesburg CBD.

One policeman had to have stitches to his head and at least seven journalists were struck by the projectiles.

Dlamini said police were monitoring a small group which gathered in Beyers Naude Square, close to Luthuli House on Wednesday.

They asked anybody, particularly journalists, injured during Tuesday's events to lay charges.


"Relative to what happened yesterday, we think the behaviour of people outside was better [on Wednesday]," ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said, even though the ANC did not condone people gathering to support someone who faced disciplinary measures.

On Tuesday, the ANC called the events "un-ANC" and blamed the league

This view was supported by the ANC's alliance partners, the Congress of SA Trade Unions, the SA Communist Party, and the Congress of SA Students who were accused of taking children out of school to attend.

The ANCYL itself condemned the burning of a T-shirt bearing a picture of President Jacob Zuma, who is also ANC president, but blamed agents provocateurs for the violence.

National Freedom Party Gauteng spokesperson Zangezwa Mvelase said the education department should investigate how the children were taken out of school.

Education department spokesperson Panyaza Lesufi said that according to its information, pupils from 21 schools in Gauteng were taken to the CBD to support Malema.

The department would wait for the outcome of the police investigation, but in the meantime principals whose schools were affected would send it a report.

"We must differentiate - schools are an education field, not a political field."

Complex situation

The police have been criticised for not making immediate arrests, but Jan Burger, senior researcher at the crime and justice programme of the Institute for Security Studies said: "It's one of those very complex situations."

From 2006, the year restructuring of the police began, public policing officers were redeployed to police stations and did not attend regular training as before.

The impact of the events in Ficksburg earlier this year, where protester Andries Tatane was killed, allegedly by a police bullet, showed a "complete absence of command and control" in such situations, he said.

He said it was evident at a recent workshop that police were concerned not only about their image, but also about the level and standard of public order policing.

"They are struggling within themselves to determine where they are and what level of professionalism they are at, but they still have to deal with everyday incidents of crowd control."


There were aspects of the Luthuli House incident of which the public were not aware.

These included the level of intelligence the police had.

Application for permission for gatherings contained information on the number of people expected to attend and whether it would be marshalled.

This enabled the police to plan the measures they would have in place. No permission was applied for, for Tuesday's gathering.

"So, we don't know if the police had intelligence, and how accurate it was, if they had it," said Burger.

It appeared that because of the politically charged atmosphere, there could have been political direction in terms of how police were deployed and what they did.

"They knew what the demonstrations would be about - in support of Julius Malema. They knew that it would be a very difficult situation to control, with young people who are known for their sometimes, unruly, outright disorderly or criminal behaviour," he said.

Best way possible

"But at the same time, they knew they knew the political ramifications if they reacted a little too quickly or over hastily."

National Police Commissioner General Bheki Cele went to Luthuli House, but it was not clear what he was asked to do and what instruction he issued to the police, said Burger.

He believed that the police handled the situation in the best way possible, but that there should still be consequences.

"The ideal would be to identify people on the video footage and to act against them. At least the organisers should face consequences in terms of existing legislation [the Public Gathering Act]."

Burger said he was happy that the focus had shifted from how police managed such events, to how organisers managed their protests.

"We can't condone [events] and expect the police to resolve everything, because they have limits. We all know what happens when the police reach the situation where they have to use force," he said.

  • Scorpion - 2011-08-31 20:48

    They will propbably get good positions in parliment and the revolutionary house.

      Mark Singh - 2011-08-31 21:18

      and no doubt land multi million rand contracts in rigged tenders

      ANCYL4PRES - 2011-09-01 12:20

      @scorpion....That is a very negative comment to make, I mean the actions by these people were wrong and criminal, please can we for once pledge our support, where we can we must assist the police to catch them and have them charged! If SAPS can post the pictures I am more than happy to assist by ensuring they get caught, they are a disgrace to the country and not only to the ruling party and its alliance. bloody drunckards!

  • Shrike - 2011-08-31 20:52

    They have been identified as future presidents.......leadership talent! Let's give them some tenders.......

      Ken J May - 2011-08-31 21:58

      @thobsion.ANC Shhhhhhhhhhit!!!!

  • motsokwi - 2011-08-31 21:16

    To further the investigation everyone who encouraged rioting on news website like news24 should be brought to book, regarding how their comments influenced the youth to destroy properties.I can help in naming the few.

      Travis Vermaak - 2011-09-01 11:31

      It happened in the UK, they prosecuted as many rioters as they could identify, I don't see why they shouldn't do it here.

      Travis Vermaak - 2011-09-01 11:32

      They found people on FB and Twitter that incited rioting and they were prosecuted and jailed!

  • Boxxer - 2011-08-31 21:18

    Still no words of concern from our galavanting President I see.

      pitbull - 2011-09-01 07:07

      Zuma planned this so he could be out of the country doing his underhand planning. This whole government is like a Punch and Judy Show. While Judy (Malema) is making himself heard and seen on stage right, Punch (Zuma) in off on stage left doing something underhand.

      Daemos1 - 2011-09-01 07:52

      He's too busy sampling the local 'produce' maybe we can get a blow-up president

      GypseyAnn - 2011-09-01 09:19

      Quite amazing isn't it Boxxer - just look at crises that have taken place recently elsewhere in the world and the Presidents have returned home immediately, but I guess JZ doesn't really care. He is just trying to find ways of bringing more money into the country from where they can pilfer in the future!

      VELOCITY - 2011-09-01 10:30

      He's trying to find the ultimate shower, no expenses will be spared in his search around the world.

  • Christelle - 2011-08-31 21:19

    Oh well, and lack of following proper procedures will ensure they are exonerated. I am so disappointed that we will not see justice prevail!!! ugh............

  • rustic - 2011-08-31 21:25

    Big deal - nothing will happen of any consequence. If the cops don't f*@k it up, then the courts will.

  • thobsion.ANC - 2011-08-31 21:34

    They will face the music, this is not how we do in the ANC....

      Ken J May - 2011-08-31 22:00

      You don't do anything in the ANC!

      Wellfreer - 2011-09-01 00:34

      The only music they will be facing from the ANC, is "khawuleth'umshini wami"

      OH_DEAR - 2011-09-01 06:45

      you guys do everything in a violent manner. this is just who you are. you have a long way to go if you ever want to become civilised contributors to society - simple mathematics do suggest that if you take and destroy more than you give, there will be nothing left. added to this, the rapid rate at which you provide no incentive for skill to stay in the country, you will be able to rely less and less on the whites for your handouts..... please take a long hard look at yourselves and your insatiable addiction to crime, corruption, violence and general incompetence - it tells its own story.....

      pitbull - 2011-09-01 07:09

      The only constructive thing the ANC could do is organise a car accident for Malema. He and his cohorts are an embarrassment to both the ANC and the ANCYL as well as to the whole of Africa.

      pitbull - 2011-09-01 08:21

      @Ken J May except pick their noses

      VELOCITY - 2011-09-01 10:35

      This is not the way the ANC acts indeed! They are too busy stealing and implementing racist laws to do anything else.

      PB - 2011-09-01 11:23

      thobsion.ANC - the only music they are going to face is their chanting. I would love to agree with you, but past performance does not give me confidence that ANYTHING will be done. The ANC as a group only planned to have it look like they take it seriously, but he fact that the hearings were aranged to take place while zuma is out of the country, was an early indication that NOTHING serious is going to happen to the hooligans.

      Travis Vermaak - 2011-09-01 11:28

      Could have fooled me!

  • John D - 2011-09-01 03:49

    If it works, why change it? Riots always work for the strikers so why shouldn't it work for malema and his band of no hopers. Civil unrest should have been stamped out at the beginning, with force if necessary, instead a culture of rioting when you want something has been ingrained in the mentality of the populace and its only going to get worse. Its a clear case of anarchy vs civilised democracy and it looks like anarchy is winning.

  • UnproudSA - 2011-09-01 06:46

    "The police have identified people...." These are not people but rather savage barbarians

      pitbull - 2011-09-01 07:12

      Don't insult the barbarians. Savage, yes. Barbarians are only strangers and not necessarily of savage outlook. This bunch are just a bunch of unruly children. Reminds me somewhat of "Lord of the Flies" by William Golding. No discipline in childhood leads to savage, undisciplined adults. Blame Dr Spock and the Montessori lack of discipline in schools.

  • pitbull - 2011-09-01 07:35

    Heard on Radio yesterday: A youth league of cockroaches

  • Carl - 2011-09-01 07:45

    Its all so complex for the SAPF! Um.... if somebody does something wrong you (a) arrest them, (b) ignore them, (c) take the bribe, (d) shoot them...

  • waine - 2011-09-01 08:17

    I predict that this rioting is only the start of things to come. if you look at some of the posters the ANCYL were carrying, they allude to the riots in Egypt. So it is in their minds already. They have nothing to lose and everything to gain with the false hope that Malema will redeem them.

      Travis Vermaak - 2011-09-01 11:26

      Don't give the sheep ideas, you know how easliy influenced they are.

  • MAWEMAWE - 2011-09-01 09:01

    if whites can stop acting clean this country of us can be a better place.

      VELOCITY - 2011-09-01 10:33

      "If whites can stop acting clean" what the hell does that mean?

  • GypseyAnn - 2011-09-01 09:16

    Take a note out UK's book on this matter - act swiftly and decisively. Do not pussy-foot around! And do not expect the journalists to lay charges before you act as was reported on the radio this morning. Get up and take action!!!

  • Nero - 2011-09-01 10:28

    This whole disciplinary hearing is a farce set up between ANC & ANCYL to distract the public from the final stages of the Protection of information Bill. Don't be fooled people. Every time the ANC comes under pressure, Malema does something to make headlines. The ANC is keeping our focus on their left hand so that we do not notice what the right hand is doing. They are sipping their Johhny Blue and smoking cubans in Luthuli house at this moment. Melema does NOTHING without ANC approval. This is all a scripted reality show and its working.

  • Travis Vermaak - 2011-09-01 11:21

    OMG I wonder which tools thought it was a good idea to take kids out of school to support Malema of all people, who is having a disciplinery hearing. Disgusting idea!!! I think these kids need every bit of education to avoid being sucked into ANCYL like mobs. IMO Malema should face charges of putting SA in disripute and sowing seeds of division in SA...let alone the current charges.

  • Cleverr - 2011-09-01 15:29

    the youth league is out of control, dey behave as if they own this country. hope d culprtis will be identified and be arrested soon.

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