Police act with more restraint post-Marikana - Nhleko

2016-10-01 11:30
Police Minister Nathi Nhleko. (Jenni Evans, News24)

Police Minister Nathi Nhleko. (Jenni Evans, News24)

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Johannesburg - Police officers have acted with more restraint when covering protests in South Africa since the August 2012 Marikana tragedy, police minister Nathi Nhleko has said.

He was addressing members of the media and student leaders at OR Tambo International Airport on Friday following a closed meeting between student leaders and ministers in the Justice cluster along with higher education minister Blade Nzimande.

The parties were discussing the violent protests which have been taking place at some of the country's institutions.

Students have been protesting since September 19 following a study fee adjustment announcement by Nzimande, who said varsities could increase tuition but by no more than 8%. The minister also halted the increase of fees for poorer students, including those in the missing middle bracket.

Police and private security have been criticised for being too harsh and quick to act against protesting students. 

Nhleko, who has condemned the violence, also asked law enforcers to practice maximum restraint. 

"The police manage around 1000 protests a month. There haven't been any serious injuries post-Marikana," said Nhleko.

The police minister, who committed to increasing police presence at campuses if necessary, also said police training was an ongoing process.

Meanwhile minister of intelligence David Mahlobo said his officials are working closely with institutions of higher learning, often passing on information to vice chancellors. 

Mahlobo, who was also at the meeting, said law enforcement needed to be praised when it performed well.  

He said it was important for people to give credit where it was due.

"No one is giving us credit that after so many incidents not a single [round of] live ammunition has actually been shot."

Mahlobo urged both government and students to continue engaging over issues of free education. 

Read more on:    police  |  nathi nhleko  |  marikana

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