Prioritise crowd control training - SAHRC

2012-10-31 18:11
Riot police (Picture: Sapa)

Riot police (Picture: Sapa)

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Johannesburg - The training of police on crowd control should be made a priority, the SA Human Rights Commission said on Wednesday.

"When a law enforcement authority such as the police have a monopoly on the use of force, it is important that training in crowd control be a high priority," commissioner Danny Titus said in Johannesburg.

He was speaking during the SAHRC's release of its findings on the death of Andries Tatane during a service delivery protest in Ficksburg on 13 April 2011.

The investigation found the police used excessive force on Tatane, resulting in his injuries and subsequent death.

Increasingly violent protests called for more training for police to effectively control gatherings, said Titus.

"In this case, the police were not suitably equipped to manage the protest and failed to effectively regulate and monitor it."

Titus described the relationship between the SAHRC and the police as "professionally distant".

"We have had to threaten the police with court action in some cases for failing to respond to our inquiries."

He said the commission was disappointed that the police ministry and its senior management had failed to co-operate with it during the Tatane investigation.

The Democratic Alliance in the Free State said the findings indicated a coalition was needed to advocate for the basic rights of communities.

"The findings are an important first step towards truth and healing. We trust that the court will now see justice done in this matter," party leader Patricia Kopane said.

There had been 52 service delivery protests in the Free State so far this year, said Kopane.

"These numbers will increase as government continues to fall short of people's need for basic services."

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Read more on:    police  |  da  |  sahrc  |  andries tatane  |  bloemfontein  |  service delivery  |  protests
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