Ministry, DA at odds over strike violence

2012-10-09 20:27
Nathi Mthethwa (Picture: Sapa)

Nathi Mthethwa (Picture: Sapa)

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Johannesburg - Continued violence during a strike by truck drivers is proof of Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa's shortcomings, the Democratic Alliance said on Tuesday.

"The continuing transport strike violence is yet another example of our Police Minister’s inability to maintain public order," DA police spokesperson Dianne Kohler Barnard said in a statement.

She said a man had died and 23 trucks had been torched as a result of the strike.

"This particular strike has been going on for over two weeks and yet the police have not managed to bring the criminality and violence under control."

Police spokesperson Zweli Mnisi defended the department's handling of the strike and accused Kohler Barnard of "grandstanding".

"The criticism is unsubstantiated, but riddled with grandstanding," Mnisi said.

Kohler Barnard said that while Mthethwa had issued a statement promising action against strikers "once again words have not been translated into action".

Mnisi countered that in the hours following Mthethwa's statement, 45 people were arrested by police.

Kohler Barnard also accused police of not responding to a "pattern of the burning of trucks" by strikers.

She said the trucks represented millions of rands to their owners who were not being protected by the police.

The burning of property was damaging the nation's global image.

"The TV footage of burning trucks and violent and often armed protesters is being shown around the world.

"The impact on our economy is and will continue to be, inordinate," Kohler Barnard said.

- SAPA
Read more on:    police  |  diane kohler barnard  |  zweli mnisi  |  nathi mthethwa  |  transport strike
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