Revisit use of force, says Mthethwa

2011-10-04 15:29

Johannesburg - The severity of police force used when responding to protest action needed to be revisited, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said on Tuesday.

The "constant negative public scrutiny" of force used against protesters further strengthened the need for clarity, Mthethwa said in a speech prepared for delivery on Tuesday.

He was speaking at a public order policing (POP) conference in Midrand.

The minister said developments since 1994 required a focus on the transformation and accountability of the police, and adaptation to the needs of a democratic state.

"The type of police service required is one that is professional, upholds the Constitution and respects human dignity."

Restructuring of policy would require examining the police's approach in dealing with mass action protests.

"This must include, but not necessarily be limited to, the use of force in general, the use of physical and mechanical force, the use of deadly force, and the limitations that govern the use of force and deadly force."

Protest action has spiked in the last couple of months, according a local government data and intelligence service.

Municipal IQ, which measures service delivery protests in municipalities, said 56 major protests had been registered from January to August.

Most of the protests were in Gauteng (30%) followed by the Western Cape (15%), North West (12%), and Free State (11%).

  • I Like Everything - 2011-10-04 15:35

    The use of force used by protesters on innocent civilians should also be revisited.. I would like that

      saabnut - 2011-10-04 15:58

      Too true- double the amount of force the cops are allowed to use on violent criminals, and halve the self defence red tape. Then you will see action.

      Currie_Mafia - 2011-10-04 16:03

      Agreed. The Police Farce must use extreme force when dealing with vandals & criminals in general.

      Dave50 - 2011-10-04 16:35

      Violent protestors should be met with a least equal force that would be enough to subdue the violence and protect the rights and property of people nearby these protests, that includes state property. Live by the sword and die by the sword.

  • sarecen - 2011-10-04 15:39

    Wonder what property deals celes dreaming up

      DABOSS247365 - 2011-10-04 15:59

      Good Lord old chap.. do you not rest?

      silvi1 - 2011-10-04 16:07

      A sushi bar in his office

  • PIXIE - 2011-10-04 15:39

    Only if the protesters did not damage properties and businesses i would say he's making sense.

      DW - 2011-10-04 16:21

      Agreed, Pixie...or intimidate people who do not wish to take part in the strike or protest. Their rights are not absolute and should not take preference to other people's rights. DUT yesterday obtained a court order to stop students from protesting on the campus or within 100m of the campus - this is a good thing but I suspect they will stone cars and stop students from getting onto campus in the first place in their next protest. They cannot accept that some people choose not to protest for their own personal reasons and intimidation should never be acceptable.

      Dave50 - 2011-10-04 16:39

      Thats got my vote, peaceful protests peaceful response, violence to be met with violence and damage to property paid for by the organisers, do that and watch how quickly the damage will stop, a deposit to be paid and damage deducted, sounds fair to me , let Juju pay for his supporters actions and watch how quickly it stops.

  • falcon2020 - 2011-10-04 15:39

    rather "revisit" the CAUSE of the protests

      Van-Der-Moodley - 2011-10-04 16:27

      @falcon Well put. Amen.

  • myancmyfutur - 2011-10-04 15:42

    The last time they decided to use force a 2 year old boy was shot because theyy thought he was carrying a gun and a woman killed near a police station in Kempton Park....the list is endless, now they want to use weapons of mass destruction

      Pekkie - 2011-10-04 15:58

      The two year old should have been at home with its mother, not at mass demonstrations! ?????

      Levett - 2011-10-04 16:09

      We don't have weapons of mass destruction. We have a weapons of mass self-destruction called ANC supporters

      silvi1 - 2011-10-04 16:12

      What was a two year doing amongst protestors and where was his mother?

      GH - 2011-10-04 16:13

      Nuke em all I say.

      ubufakazi - 2011-10-04 16:17

      hahahaha they thought the 2year old was carrying a gun.. WhyTF did the parents take a toddler to a protest!!! fools!

      myancmyfutur - 2011-10-04 16:31

      The 2 year old an referring to and Ms Odendaal in Kempton Park were not in a protest. The boy was with his father in the car and Ms Odendaal was at a police station to report a buglary. @ SAABNUT ANC as in Anti Neptul Contract, then divorce your wife and share

      DW - 2011-10-04 16:48

      @ myancmyfutur - I know about the woman in Kempton Park but please inform me about the 2 year old who was shot. I can find no reference to it anywhere

      myancmyfutur - 2011-10-04 17:11

      DW It was last year and the police had stopped parallel to the car driven by the boy's father and they thought the boy was carrying a firearm and used maximum force to defend themselves.

  • Michelle - 2011-10-04 15:42

    What about the force protestors use on the police?? Or are they always the innocent "victims"? They loot, plunder and murder all in the name of protests and the police should handle them with kidgloves?? I think not!!

  • Dorsy7 - 2011-10-04 15:45

    Well Nathi Mthethwa, I can only imagine the frustration of Police when having to respond to yet another *violent* service delivery protest? Ever thought of how hard these people are working while u r sitting in an office with a good view and get driven around by someone? SAfricans lose their minds when they protest. Hence, police MUST use force, sorry to the innocent ones that get caught in the crossfire.

  • beicime - 2011-10-04 15:47

    It's always difficult to respond with a "balances" force but to allow protesters' abuse is also a no go. Who pays the cost of looting, burnt and broken assets and the cleaning that follows?

  • Darwinian - 2011-10-04 15:48

    Yep vote for T-Shirts, Food Parcels and RUBBERBULLETS!!!!

  • nosiphom - 2011-10-04 15:50

    If protesters throw stones and more, respond appropriately, as they have forfeted their right to be treated decently.

  • Pekkie - 2011-10-04 15:52

    Shoot to kill, not difficult at all!

      silvi1 - 2011-10-04 16:20

      In the ideal world I would agree Pekkie. But how often have innocent people being killed because the police "thought they were......"' They should install cctv on all police vehicles so that there is visual evidence should there be an enquiry into a wrongful killing.

  • Mlu - 2011-10-04 16:02

    Please tighten be more ruthless Minister and blast those ill-disciplined looters from COSATU and its affiliates and from the ANCYL.

  • brok3news - 2011-10-04 16:07

    Stomach in chest out.

  • John - 2011-10-04 16:11

    about time including death sentence

  • BrokenLink - 2011-10-04 16:12

    As soon as a protest turns violent then its no longer a demonstration or strike, its an attack on private property and persons. Handle it as such. The london riots clearly showed what happens when the police are stopped by too much legislation from doing their job. If another little kid gets hit by rubber bullets, arrest the parents and the kid, they do not belong in violent protest and if there that's their own responsibility.

  • MSGRule - 2011-10-04 16:22

    Why Nathi, who told you to send this out. Has Malema got somthing to do with this. One of the conditions of his case. Less Police action so the heathen hordes aka ancyl have a bit more freedom to destroy.

  • Mike or Mpho - 2011-10-04 16:35

    I smell elections in the air

  • Boerseun - 2011-10-04 17:51

    The police should always act under their oath. Clearly this is not always the case. Apart from that should they act unlawfully, the cops should be charged in his personal cpacity.

  • jacojansevanrensburg - 2011-10-05 03:22

    ...''respects human dignity''..right, like you respected Andries Tatane's dignity..

  • Chelsea - 2011-10-05 06:55

    Why do they keep on talking about it? I also wondered why. Just like you, I was also puzzled every time they try to conceal it when they include it In the topic. All I know, people who are acquainted in this topic are amazingly rich. Let’s find the answer at Google, just type “BlueGoldHunto” and click the first site.

  • Jonathan - 2011-10-05 11:54

    The force used by the police should be allowed to be in proportion with the force these protesting morons use!

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