New Police Minister Fikile Mbalula has delivered his first address to South African Police Service (SAPS) officials.
Speaking at a welcoming parade at the Saps training college in Pretoria West on Tuesday, Mbalula warned protesters not to damage property during demonstrations because he doesn’t want to see a repeat of the Marikana massacre.
There has been some discomfort around the minister’s stern warning to violent protesters when he said, “We must educate our people because I don’t want another Marikana here where police opened fire and people died.”
Referring to criminals the Minister also said, “If they come with AK47s, we must outgun them. Meet fire with fire, you are not given those guns as toys, you are given those guns to use them, to protect the nation.”
While some agree with his stance on criminals, others are concerned.
Mbalula is just something....this fellow could very well come attack protestors— Horizontal Latitude (@Avuxeni_) April 4, 2017
V concerned by #Mbalula address to SAPS today.Doesnt appear to worry about police violence but almost implicitly incited it.— Maryke Bailey (@MyEduThoughts) April 4, 2017
#Mbalula is an unrepented demagogue, populist to the core. Shoot to kill is definetely back as terrorisers of township dwellers aka maberet— Negro Campista (@MongMobu) April 4, 2017
Eyewitness News Reporter Barry Bateman says the Minister later clarified the statement.
He toned it down and said we are just encouraging the police to go out there and fight crime within the confines of the law and do things properly.— Barry Bateman, EWN reporter
Click on the link below to listen to the full report by EWN's Barry Bateman....