SAHRC: Police must improve officers' training

2012-10-31 14:24
People protest outside the court where six police officers appears for the killing of Andries Tatane. (Andre Grobler, Sapa)

People protest outside the court where six police officers appears for the killing of Andries Tatane. (Andre Grobler, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - The SA Police Service must improve training for officers in the management of public gatherings, the SA Human Rights Commission stated on Wednesday.

The commission’s Danny Titus made this and other recommendations at the announcement of findings into the death of Ficksburg protester Andries Tatane.

The SAHRC found that police used excessive force on Tatane resulting in his injuries and subsequent death.

"The respondents [the police] neglected provisions of the Gatherings Act by using excessive force, resulting in the injury and death of the protester," said Titus.

The SAHRC investigated Tatane's death, during a protest in Ficksburg in April 2011, followed a complaint by the Council for the Advancement of the SA Constitution.

It also recommended the development of a training manual for the police's Public Riot Act; and a six-monthly report by the ministries of police and co-operative governance on measures to address the phenomenon of increasingly violent protests.

The SAHRC said that police were not suitably equipped to quell public disorder during the protest and had failed to devise a plan to regulate and monitor the protest.

It also found that the police failed to authorise a suitably qualified and experienced member to represent them at consultations or negotiations during the protest.

"If a suitably qualified person had been chosen, such a person would have foreseen that the demonstration would degenerate into violence and prepared for that eventuality," said SAHRC said.

The findings had been forwarded to the police.

Read more on:    police  |  sahrc  |  andries tatane  |  bloemfontein  |  police brutality

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