STATEMENT ON THE SOUTH AFRICAN POLICE SERVICE |
The mobilisation of the South African Police Service for conflict with the people of South Africa such as the cruelty to Mido Macia, the massacre of miners at Marikana last year, the cold blooded killing of Andries Tatane a year or so ago and many other chilling incidents can be traced back to the ANC’s 2009 election manifesto.
While the document beats about the bush on some issues, one word describes how the ANC will “intensify the fight against corruption and crime” and that word is “tougher”. The ANC said it would be tougher on criminals and against crime syndicates.
The unfortunate word takes root from what then newly appointed Minister of Safety and Security, Nathi Mthethwa, said in November 2008 when he addressed the Select Committee on Security. In that address Mthethwa said the police should fight fire with fire on dealing with gangs involved in cash-in-transit heists.
The militarization of the police ranks in the March 2010 policing policy document added salt to injury and gave the police a field day.
These gunslingers are however not as adept as they should be when it comes to performing policing work. The slovenly manner in which crime scenes as the one in the Oscar Pistorious case are approached is a case in point. There are countless cases that have been thrown out of court owing to poor investigation, an indication of poor training on their part.
The conduct of the police in a democratic South Africa should, in the spirit of the constitution be to prevent, not to cause, to combat not to promote, and to investigate not to conceal crime as they are wont to do. They should maintain public order, not cause disorder, they should protect and not expose inhabitants of the Republic and their property; they should uphold and enforce the law and not subvert it.
Let us hope the police will know they have to police and not cause that they be policed.
Sent by: Sipho Mfundisi