Police warned to avoid excessive force

2012-11-01 20:46

Johannesburg - Police officers should refrain from using excessive force to control public protests, Parliament's police portfolio committee said in a statement on Thursday.

"Police officers can no longer be allowed to use excessive force when stabilising public unrest incidents. It is against our Constitution and against our human rights culture," said the committee's acting chairperson Annelize van Wyk.

The committee welcomed a finding by the SA Human Rights Commission on the death of Andries Tatane during a service delivery protest in Ficksburg on 13 April 2011.

It concluded that the police used excessive force on Tatane, resulting in his injuries and subsequent death.

Van Wyk said an increase in public protests was a cause for concern.

"These incidents increased from 971 in 2010/11 to 1194 in 2011/12, which resulted mainly from factors such as labour disputes and dissatisfaction with service delivery," she said.

Van Wyk said police should be properly trained to deal with such events.

"The recruitment and training of public order police members is of paramount importance and must receive urgent attention, with focus on constitutional principles."

The reasons for the increase in public unrest should be investigated by relevant government departments and business, she said.

The Democratic Alliance in the Free State said the Tatane incident indicated that a coalition was needed to promote the basic rights of communities.

"The findings are an important first step towards truth and healing. We trust that the court will now see justice done in this matter," said DA provincial leader Patricia Kopane.

There had been 52 service delivery protests in the Free State so far this year, said Kopane.

"These numbers will increase as government continues to fall short of people's need for basic services."

  • luther.kingsley.5 - 2012-11-01 20:56

    Excessive brutal and violent crimes should receive excessive force of the law.

      gerhardus.windpomp - 2012-11-01 21:15

      I second that.

      vandross.ntshegi - 2012-11-01 21:32

      Oh! wait. The constitution is against the police using excessive force!! Hhhmmm!! What does that constitution say about employees engaging in illegal srikes and using excessive force to get what they want? Does the constitution agree with that? Don't give one side of the story

      Samuel Morena - 2012-11-01 21:36

      the police had all the options to avoid shooting at the protests,but they choose to shoot anyway and kill.i don't support their action at all. they are heartless

      luther.kingsley.5 - 2012-11-01 21:50

      Samuel Morena, Watch the video on youtube, SABC always only show the part where the police are firing, you need to see for yourself how these miners were storming the police as well as a miner who fired at the police with a firearm.

      Oraniaboer - 2012-11-02 00:10

      Oh but the criminals can use brutal force against innocent citizens? What a load of crap. Treat these savage rubbishes more brutal than ever.

      klippies.coke.7 - 2012-11-02 11:41

      If you bring weapons to a strike, you should expect force to be used against you.

  • johan.jacobs.5680 - 2012-11-01 21:01

    Police must stand their ground!

  • - 2012-11-01 21:05

    They should also be warned to avoid excessive eating.

      yrhonour.honour - 2012-11-01 21:19

      Double LIKE : )

      Nigel - 2012-11-02 07:26

      That's the truth

  • lhensby - 2012-11-01 21:18

    Put our brave politicians on the front line confrunted by panga weilding animals then lets see what they do? It's allways easy talking about what you don't know!

  • terrence.schwartz.1 - 2012-11-01 21:22

    luther - concur!! Have you ever seen the acting chairperson on TV. She purports to know all and is often very arrogant and disrespectful to the police officers appearing before the committee. She has never been there!! Perhaps when the next unrest happens, she should be immediately called to solve the problem of armed mobs threatening police with pangas etc., intent of murder!!!

  • debduplessis - 2012-11-01 21:26

    Police must use whatever means at their disposal to control, have the upper hand on thuggery & protect themselves against those who do not possess the same morals & standards of a civilised society!

  • Tello Moleko - 2012-11-01 21:26

    Van Wyk gave introduction to the police and we agree with him,now Van Wyk must give practical to police,we want to see him comply with constitution

  • janis.moolman - 2012-11-01 21:41

    Annelize tot hulle jou iets aandoen dan skree jy eerste skiet hulle. Siek land dis hkm mense maak wat hulle wil en onskuldige mense se lewens word geneem. Maar moet nie die skuldige een iets aan doen nie want sy arme regte.

  • michael.smit.73997 - 2012-11-01 21:50

    it almost seems like democracy makes authorities softer and softer and the bad people end up being heavily defended by laws that stupid liberals came up with. now u cant shoot a criminal dead in ur own home, its the same in england.

  • jlushaba - 2012-11-01 21:52

    Public unrests should be investigated by relevent government departments? Aybo, aybo, aybo dont waste our money please. U know exactly why there are unrests

  • warren.mark.92 - 2012-11-01 22:10

    Talk is cheap lady,you try controlling a violent crowd without using excessive force .

  • louis.frederick2 - 2012-11-02 00:45

    Ek stem saam met die mense hukom gaan staan hulle nie eeder voor en probeer die strikers stil te maak nie hul sit eeder agter tv camaras en kommentaar lewer maar ons onskuldige polisiemanne moet die veilwerk doen en dan word hul aangeklae vir moord as hul net hul werk doen wie is nou eintlik in beheer oor ons land dit lyk my die crimmenele het meer regte as die onskuldige persoon wat sy eiendom probeer behou

  • rob.bayliss.94 - 2012-11-02 01:50

    When dealing with suspected criminals the police must be allowed tu use sufficient force to detain, ensure publc order, and protect life and property....whoever the perpetrators are, especially if they are public figures

  • mthetheleli.ntshobololo.1 - 2012-11-02 04:23

    I can't blv that most ppl here supports police brutality, but all of you "police fans" you play dumb when that brutality extends to homicide. You pretend as if you don't know whats wrong with police officers, you blame stress, you blame dangerous situations they face on duty, you forget that you are the ones who praise them when they kill outside family, stupid fools!

      johan.steyn.127 - 2012-11-02 06:47

      There is a big diference between brutality and using force in a situation where your life or the life of someone inocent is in danger if you don't want to get hurt don't do unlawfull things don't go looking for trouble if you are on the wrong side of the law you should have no human rights becuase that is a choice you make out of free will fool!

  • richard.mbuly - 2012-11-02 05:58

    let de police do wat dey have 2 do, unconstitutional conduct by de police its also punishable. Dis ppl r guided by CPA, who ever conduct himself wthout de boundery of de law shuld b punished,dats de law.

  • johan.steyn.127 - 2012-11-02 06:38

    This is typical SA where there is no law or order, criminals and these so called friendly protesters do what they want to break and burn down and our protectors sit with their hands tied it seems like people on the wrong side of the law is better protected than people that pay their taxes and stays on the right side of the law.

  • andre.vandeventer.16 - 2012-11-02 07:03

    Annelize van Wyk, it's you and your like minded liberal humanists that is the cause for the downfall of discipline and law and order in South Africa. If anyone uses force to bring his/her point across in protests, they must know that they will be dealt with in the same manner. We, the citizens, also have a constitutional right to have our lives and our possessions protected. The right of the law breaker can never weigh more than the right of the law abiding!

      Nigel - 2012-11-02 07:45


      stanley.rieck - 2012-11-06 15:23

      Well said!

  • uzziphathele.tshabalala - 2012-11-02 07:08

    Best thing gorv can do, they must deliver 2 the people, n will be no toytoy in SA, n no excessive force from police

  • Simphiwe Spijo Nxumalo - 2012-11-02 07:26

    very nice for someone sitting on her to say such things one day she must try and put on the blue uniform and be on the fore front when controlling a violent crowd throwing stones at u burning down innocent citizens possession and see how it feels...

      Nigel - 2012-11-02 07:44


  • Nigel - 2012-11-02 07:46

    Forcing police to play by some kind of humanitarian rule book whilst the unlawful strikers can run rampant and do whatever they want, break all civil rules and even attack the police. Won't work.

  • philip.lynx.3 - 2012-11-02 08:10

    Again the police are made into the bad ones, when it is the fault of the violent protesters and the useless government who make promises they don't keep. The police must use the force needed. end of story.

  • buwaz - 2012-11-02 08:49

    Policing in SA has turned into politics,to all police officers outside is clear that the law is tight on u n give criminals more powers,so stop being heroes n put ur lives first,wait for robberies to happen then go later open dockets when criminals have gone no life lost,u try to rush when in progress u wil meet them then shoot u. Is so simple put ur life first every men for himself now

  • yandisa.madikananondonga - 2012-11-02 09:50

    Police must first deal with robbers and murders, people who really commit crimes before they MURDER innocent protesters, then I'll know they work hard.

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