Public Order Police were involved in forcibly removing EFF MPs

2015-02-15 00:01
Captain Walter Prins circled. (AFP)

Captain Walter Prins circled. (AFP)

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WATCH: EFF MPs forcibly removed from Parliament

2015-02-13 09:40

The footage you didn't see on TV. When pictures emerged of Julius Malema on Thursday night with his shirt ripped, this video explains why. WATCH how police violently removed EFF MPs from Parliament.WATCH

Cape Town - The Daily Maverick has revealed who the enforcers were during the State of the Nation Address.

A Public Order Police officer, who appears to have played a leading role in forcibly removing Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema and other EFF MPs from the State of the Nation Address this week, has boasted on Facebook of a “hunt for Juju” in the “once hallowed halls of Parliament”. 

Wearing a black Hugo Boss suit jacket, Captain Walter Prins led a phalanx of white-shirted “security forces” into Parliament on Thursday after they were instructed to forcibly remove Malema and two other EFF MPs from the House.
Daily Maverick identified Prins - aged 43 - from a high-resolution photograph taken by the agency EPA. It clearly showed his security pass which designated him part of a “high risk” detail and stated that “WW Prins” was from “SAPS”, the acronym for the South African Police Service.

Prins’s Facebook posts over the past six months raise disturbing questions about whether he and other members of the Cape Town Public Order Police (POPS) unit that he belongs to felt they had a blanket mandate to target Malema.

On 30 August 2014, just nine days after riot police wearing body armour and carrying riot shields and batons were deployed in Parliament for the first time, Prins typed out a Facebook post to his colleagues. “To all the members of POPS Cape Town,” he wrote in Afrikaans, “I wish you strength and thank you for a helluva month. Particularly the guys in my platoon…Ps. Don’t worry, at some stage in the near future we’ll go back into Parliament for old Julius! LoL.” 

Then, on 20 September, Prins posted three photographs on his timeline of police in the foyer of the parliament building. The pictures appear to have been taken on 21 August as police entered the precinct. Prins can be seen in all three wearing a police uniform and riot gear.  “In the once hallowed halls of Parliament, in a hunt for Juju LOL,” he wrote underneath. 
This week Prins was at the head of the white-shirted “security forces” as they entered the House of Assembly and manhandled Malema and other EFF MPs. In news photographs, Prins can clearly be seen grappling with Malema and the EFF's Floyd Shivambu.

A Facebook page for “members, ex-members and friends” of the Cape Town Public Order Police unit later posted a video of the confrontation, remarking: “[I]n the news again! What a day it was!”

On Friday, Prins also posted a link to a YouTube video of the melee. “Good work tjom. That's what i want to see happing to poepol (sic) who think that Parliament is a circus,” a friend commented approvingly. 
Contacted on his cellphone today, Prins told Daily Maverick that he could say “absolutely nothing about Thursday evening”.
“I can’t admit or deny anything,” he said when asked if he had been in charge of the police detail that clashed with the EFF.  “We signed an oath [of secrecy]. I can’t tell you anything. 
Asked about the Facebook posts, Prins said they were meant jokingly. “They are old posts that you’re talking about. You can see it was just between me and my friends.”
Asked if he had it in for Malema, Prins laughed. “No, no, no my friend. It is just the job. We are just doing our job.”

Julian Rademeyer - The Daily Maverick

Africa Check has clarified the status and position of the police in Parliamentin a factsheet.

Read more on:    saps  |  politics  |  state of the nation 2015  |  parliament 2015

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