Police have their hands full - Phiyega

2012-11-16 17:35

Johannesburg - The police in South Africa have their hands full, National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega warned on Friday.

"The country is experiencing very challenging circumstances in policing," she said, speaking at an SA Police Union (Sapu) central executive committee meeting in Pretoria.

"Police hands are full... our hands are full. We have our purpose to continue to ensure that South Africans feel they are safe; at the same time, there are a lot of... [incidents] that are erupting all over... ."

Phiyega said police were facing a flood of instability and public disorder incidents, caused by services not being delivered to people and communities across the country.

Books and services were not delivered and "we have no control over these variables", she told the meeting.

Bringing calm

"But when people get angry and when disruptions take place, the people who are expected to bring calmness, the people who are expected to bring law and order, are us," Phiyega said.

Earlier, Sapu president Mpho Kwinika said police officers should be properly trained to deal with public violence, and strikes that turned violent.

"Members of the police force lack the required skills to handle public violence," Kwinika said. "Police cannot be seen as the enemy of the people."

Communities often used violence during protests and strikes in order to be heard by authorities. Sapu was worried not enough was being done to train police officers in crowd management, he said.

In the Western Cape, one person has died and several have been injured in farmworker protests over wages and living conditions.

The protests started in De Doorns last week among table grape harvesters, who want to be paid R150 a day. Most earn between R69 and R75 a day.

The protests had spread to 15 other towns by Wednesday.

'Unsustainable miracle'

Kwinika said violence such as the shooting dead of 34 striking miners at Lonmin's Marikana mine on 16 August this year, had caused people to lose faith in the police and their ability to protect them.

Phiyega said it was because the police had restored peace and order in Marikana that the Farlam Commission could now do its work to determine what had happened.

She said De Doorns might still be burning, but in two or three weeks' time the police would have restored calm.
"That is the miracle we produce... But the miracle is unsustainable," she said.

Phiyega said stakeholders should work together to come up with solutions to end strikes and deliver services.

  • parys.fotograaf - 2012-11-16 17:42

    As long as their hands are full of shotguns and their fingers work overtime, thing will get better. Currently they are for the most part shirking their duties.

      tw2066 - 2012-11-16 18:27

      The challenges include the fact that they are fat, lazy, dont give a hoot for the law and work for an ANC lackey. Then there are those other problems like thieves and their mates.

      rowan.clark.10 - 2012-11-17 01:02

      I think you are right about duties lets take this further and try and and be real .jz says we are all safe and the head policewoman says the police service cannot cope with their delivery on crime or riot control .2+2 =Standard 4 and it is not adding up !

      tw2066 - 2012-11-17 08:40

      Ok ok, I see I have upset some - so let me rephrase, the SAPS has fat, lazy, incompetent members who benefitted from AA. Hey dont shoot the messenger, I am not the ANC lackey....

  • sas.kloppers - 2012-11-16 17:51

    Yes. Their hands full of greasy Kentucky Fried Chicken, as is evident on their backsides. Time they start working for a change. However, what can one expect of the largest, best organised, most brutal criminal gang this country has ever seen? Phiyega's verbal diarrhoea leaves me cold.

  • bill.mckimm.9 - 2012-11-16 17:52

    Yes, and being too lazy to do their jobs, only working at night to extort bribes from offending citizenary, having their own corrupt and criminal enterprises all help make them totally unfit for purposes. The ANC is so unaware of what is happening and they will be amazed when our citizens rise up and take the law into their own hands. God help us all with this BS being peddled by the head non-cop.

  • charl.malan.12 - 2012-11-16 17:55

    Fire Jacob Zuma, the country is a sinking ship, everything is out of control!

  • Erna - 2012-11-16 18:11

    The police produced a miracle by restoring peace in Marikana and they would have done the same in the WC in two to three weeks time! The commisioner is seriously delusional if she believes this. Until the anc loses the arrogant attitude and accepts that maybe they are not doing such a good job in running the country as they think they are, there will be no improvement. Zuma thinks he is doing a good job as well.

  • shirley.steenkamp - 2012-11-16 18:14

    Start by rooting out the corrupt ones,then deal with the ones who cannot even write out a docket. After that put them through at least 6 months physical training to burn off the blubber,then think about trainig them to respond on time instead of grocery shopping in police vehicles. Once you have achieved all this,then you have to vote for a government who takes a strong stand against anarchy!

  • Fox Trixter - 2012-11-16 18:15

    yes. hands full of bribes and murder! heads are also full of stupidity. I dont want to talk about their stomach

      dumisani.mbense - 2012-11-16 18:52

      and you the only clever person

  • wessel.debruyn.9 - 2012-11-16 18:25

    Thy dit a graid job in Swellendam this week. But there hands is tide if thy can"t shoot.

  • melanie.booysen - 2012-11-16 18:39

    Phiyega , maybe it will be benaficial to the country if you empower the policeforce instead of having them yo go through interigation as per Marikana enquiry. Police need to keep safe and uphold law and order, instead they must consider human rights first. What rights does a criminal have and especially those blowing up unrest in this \free democratic country of SA\. Zuma likes to refer to other countries saying we are no different when it comes to the current situation in SA, but the police force in those countries can actually uphold law and order. They are well trained and well equiped. Get people who can do the job!

  • jan.calitz1 - 2012-11-16 18:42

    This poor woman and commissioner is totally out of her depth as we warned. She also have to rely on the advice of inexperienced affirmative action officers! She must have many sleepless nights!

  • Montagnes.Bleues - 2012-11-16 18:46

    And zuma is saying there is nothing going on and no crisis? Get that NO CONFIDENCE tribal trash out and let him carry on with his fairy tales in his own wonderland with or without harem to play with him.

      dumisani.mbense - 2012-11-16 19:01

      your hatred of zuma makes blind and stupid,there is nothing about zuma in the article

      shirley.steenkamp - 2012-11-16 19:05

      DUmisani: Whos supposedly running the country-Mickey mouse????

  • george.pito - 2012-11-16 18:52

    Eish the picture tells the story

  • joe.smit.549 - 2012-11-16 18:55

    Actually, you have your hands full!

  • crracker.crackerr - 2012-11-16 19:05

    Change the law so we citizens are allowed to defend ourselves and our property effectively. It includes lethal force. No excuses. If you take my bicycle for example and I can't prevent you from escaping I must me allowed to shoot you. If you are uninvited on my properly enclosed property I must be allowed to take care of you properly. Especially at night. The current legal protection of criminals against the ordinary law abiding citizen was based on the understanding that we would have an effective and proper police force and justice system in place to look after us. We now know better.

  • clint.mail - 2012-11-16 19:06

    The problem is an uneducated older generation, the new generations are being educated albeit only in the cities and not rural, but the next generation will at least be able to know right from wrong, and have the ability to know if you steal the hard earned taxes of the population then expect the people to be up in arms. The other problem is striking, no knowledge of how it affects the country's world standing and impact on the population. All this leads to a quicker fall of South Africa and less pay for workers and more layoffs and unemployment due to economic collapse. Unfortunately we live in a country where the minority will never win elections and the majority are to stupid to see what their comrades are doing!

  • brendaanne.anderson - 2012-11-16 19:21

    In amongst all this SA Police bashing I would like to commend the 3 K9 Overberg Unit policemen (heros) that risked their lives to get the dogs locked up in their kennels out safely as the community of Hawston set fire to the building.Their selfless act will forever be remembered and appreciated by the animal lovers in this country. Thank you guys!

  • devon.riley.52 - 2012-11-16 19:33

    Hmmm too much talking, too little shooting.

  • mshiniboys - 2012-11-16 19:44

    Thats great phiyega needs to start reading a written speech to make it a bit coherent.shes talking about books not delivered to try and divert my attention from the fact that she has no idea of the reason why she even stands on a podium to speak for the police while she should be doing another job somwhere else which is less challenging to fit her incompetence.

  • tiaan.truter - 2012-11-16 19:48

    Lets wonder why our police forces have there hands full...Coz our Wonderful president doesn't want the death penalty AND he lets the people out of the prisons on leave or whatever...

  • joyce.beeton - 2012-11-16 19:51

    I wouldn't want to be a policeman - it's unfair to judge them - as with everything there are good ones and bad ones but both have to face criminals every day of their lives. Who the hell would want to be standing in front of thousands of violent and blood-thirsty striking miners armed with sticks, pieces of iron, knives and pangas? I watched the news showing thousands of them on the hillside, one close-up showed one of them licking the blade of a huge butcher knife! - They got exactly what they came for and exactly what they deserved!! People must respect the rule of law - protest if you like but NO VIOLENCE!!!!!!!!! This country is doomed unless they take a FIRM stand and say if you behave like that..... you are going DOWN!!

  • Mlu.Tolo - 2012-11-16 19:57

    Fire Zuma then the problems of south africa are solved,

  • zamani.myende - 2012-11-16 20:31


  • John - 2012-11-16 22:06

    Blue bloods are the WHITE royalty! Nothing special!

  • John - 2012-11-16 22:15

    Train the thugs you currently inflict on US. Better still, fire the useless lot! I will certainly feel a lot safer.

  • dedrooser.andries - 2012-11-16 22:31

    fat ass police

  • arthur.salvado - 2012-11-17 07:01

    The government MUST stop stealing money and provide the required services, schooling, housing etc. otherwise, be warned, you ain't seen nothing yet. The governments thieving culture is becoming intolerable in will cause more and more riots. The government is to blame and not the police. The police is another area of concern but a different subject. We MUST hold the government responsible

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