A state of denial on police brutality

2011-04-30 13:29

National police commissioner Bheki Cele believes that police brutality is not as rife as it is made out to be.

In his words, such reports are “isolated cases”.

We beg to differ. What is isolated is the number of cases that make it to the front pages of newspapers and the top stories of news broadcasts.

Even if it were statistically true, it is cold ­comfort to the family members of Jeanette Odendaal, the woman shot at a police station while there to report a case of disturbance of the peace, or to the family members of Andries ­Tatane, who was pummelled with batons by ­police, who later failed to protect him when he was mercilessly gunned down, allegedly by other members of the SAPS.

Each case of police ­brutality is one too many.

Cele’s words also smack of a state of denial.

The police have an institutional culture of ­resorting to the jackboot before they try other means.

It is part of the culture that has ­survived the fall of the apartheid state and its ­reliance on violence to affirm and validate itself.

Policing must join the rest of South Africa in being a constitutional rather than a police state.

For this to happen, there is a need for political leadership, starting from the highest office in the land to the Minister of Police and Cele himself, to say that policing is a service to citizens.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Debtors/Creditors Supervisor

Century City
Pro Placements Recruitment Agency
R10 000 - R12 000 Per Month

Graphic Designer

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
Creative Sourcing
R7 000 - R9 000 Per Month

CSR Inbound

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
O'Brien Recruitment
R14 000 - R16 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.