Zuma blasts 'trigger-happy' police

2014-02-08 12:50
President Jacob Zuma (Picture: AFP)

President Jacob Zuma (Picture: AFP)

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Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma condemned the response of "trigger-happy" police to recent violent service delivery protests, the Saturday Star reported.

In an interview with Independent Newspapers, Zuma said that protesters also needed to refrain from violence.

"No, I am not happy. I don't think anyone can be with trigger-happy police. It's not good at all," Zuma was quoted as saying.

"The police need to be trained, especially given the fact that SA is prone to protest. In a place where protest is a daily occurrence, police need to be ready."

Protesters who "carry pangas and burn tyres" also shared the blame for violence, and South Africa had yet to address the "culture and the legacy of apartheid violence", he said.

One such example was the violence on 16 August 2012, in Marikana, North West, where 34 people, mostly striking miners, were shot dead when the police fired on a group gathered at a hill near the mine.

"The fact of the matter is that you had miners on strike carrying every other weapon, actually ready to kill. In fact, they had killed 10 people before the police shot at people," Zuma said.

While he did not want to pre-empt the findings of the Farlam Commission of Inquiry which is probing the deaths, Zuma said there were indications that the police were not the only party at fault.

- SAPA
Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  johannesburg
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