Police unit head ready for action

2017-01-16 10:59
Recently appointed Pietermaritzburg public order policing unit commander Colonel Majola in front of some of the POP armoured vehicles.

Recently appointed Pietermaritzburg public order policing unit commander Colonel Majola in front of some of the POP armoured vehicles. (Bazi Dladla)

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The man in charge of the police unit responsible for quelling crowd protests says they are ready for any trouble that could occur.

Recently appointed Pietermaritzburg public order policing (POP) unit commander Colonel Mfanano Majola said his unit has a number of structures in places should any campus riots occur this year.

In an interview with The Witness, Majola said every member of the Pietermaritzburg POP unit has undergone several training courses that equip them with all the knowledge needed to deal with large crowds.

He said the unit has been monitoring the supplementary examinations and student representative council (SRC) elections at UKZN to make sure that all these proceedings run smoothly.

“The main objective of the POP unit is to effectively deal with crowds without any injury or loss of life,” he said.

According to Majola, when dealing with a peaceful crowd there is no need to apply any force.

“When the crowd starts to be unruly, force is still not justifiable. However, when a crowd gets violent the POP members tolerate the situation for as long as possible before applying non-lethal force.

“Force is a last resort that is only applied when a crowd is too violent to control. The aim is to ensure that nobody gets hurt. Enough warning is issued before the application of any type of force,” said Majola.

He said the terrain is also considered when choosing the type of force to be applied.

“This is due to the fact that certain places are not suitable to the application some types of force. The non-
lethal force is in the form of tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons,” he said.

Colonel Majola is considered an expert in crowd control and he holds a national diploma in policing, a national higher diploma in policing, a BTech in public management and a masters degree in public administration.

Pietermaritzburg South Cluster police spokesperson Sergeant Mthokozisi Ngobese said after joining the police in 1994, Majola has headed POP units in Pretoria, Matimatolo and Durban before working as a national safety officer for the Premier Soccer League (PSL) in preparation for the 2010 World Cup that was held in South Africa. He was appointed commander of the Pietermaritzburg POP unit late last year.

Majola said he is happy to be back in the SAPS and to be working in Pietermaritzburg as he was born in Sweetwaters in October 1963.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  good cops

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