Shining a spotlight on police brutality during lockdown
The Police Department speaks about their response to the implementation of the Lockdown in the country.
Were they given a mammoth task, one they might have not been prepared for?
Brigadier Vish Naidoo, South African Police Service national spokesperson, joins us.
A year ago when the COVID-19 virus visited our shores, we all entered uncharted territory. The SAPS was mandated to lead in trying to contain this virus. We were not the only department responsible for containing the virus from security or law-enforcement point of view.Brigadier Vish Naidoo, National spokesperson - SAPS
We worked closely with the South African National Defence Force and various metro departments, the National Traffic Department. Remember there was a significant restriction of the movement of people, particularly during levels 4 and 5 and as law enforcement, we had to ensure that people abide by the Disaster Management Act regulations.Brigadier Vish Naidoo, National spokesperson - SAPS
In doing so, we arrested quite a significant number of people for contraventions of these regulations but also in the process, the law enforcement of it, not necessarily police alone, the law enforcement officers were accused of violating individual human rights, in some cases those people have lost their lives.Brigadier Vish Naidoo, National spokesperson - SAPS
The incidents I am referring to were sporadic and happened over a period of one year. But if you look at where we have brought South Africa now in terms of containing the virus, the feelings are mixed with the majority having applauded the security forces for the job that theý've done ... being in the frontline and being infected as well with the risk of losing their lives.Brigadier Vish Naidoo, National spokesperson - SAPS
We, as an organisation would have hoped to see a better approach with lesser allegations of infringements by the law enforcement officers.Brigadier Vish Naidoo, National spokesperson - SAPS
On allegations that police deal differently with black protestors compared to how they deal with white protestors, he says those officers are acting on their own accord.
The lessons that have emerged from 2016 with the incidents at Marikana... if you in the context of the number of protestors over the past year the incidents of police brutality were sporadic, but every single one of our members, they know that they msut conduct themselves within the confines of our code of conduct, within the confines of the lawBrigadier Vish Naidoo, National spokesperson - SAPS
Any member who exceeds the boundary of the law will have to account for their actions or omissions. Their actions will not be unpunished, they have to account.Brigadier Vish Naidoo, National spokesperson - SAPS
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Source : @SAPoliceService/Twitter
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