Download the press release here.
The Campaign for Safe Communities is a broad-based coalition advocating for improved safety and access to justice for all. The Campaign condemns in the strongest terms any instance of police brutality and corruption.
The horrific visuals of Mozambican taxi driver Mido Macia being hand cuffed to a police vehicle and dragged through the streets of Daveyton have outraged people across South Africa and the world. SAPS officers were so brazen as to commit these acts in front of hundreds of members of the public.
It is alleged that Macia, who had a wife and young son, was then taken to the police station and savagely beaten by SAPS officers. Hours later he died from horrific injuries having received no medical attention.
Sadly, instances of police brutality have become commonplace in South Africa. The images of Andries Tatane and Marikana have been burned into our national consciousness while there are daily reports of criminal behaviour perpetrated by the police. Shockingly, in 2011/12 more than 900 people died as a result of police action or in police custody.
It is recognised that the police and the criminal justice system are overburdened and under-resourced and that this has an enormous impact on the ability to provide safety and justice. However, instances of police brutality and corruption are unacceptable. Officers who stand by while their colleagues break the law are equally complicit.
The police maintain that because the service has approximately 200,000 members there will always be some ‘rotten applies’. But it is the responsibility of police leadership and management to ensure that officers are properly vetted, receive adequate training, are continuously assessed, and that tough action is taken against police who themselves are criminals. Officers who commit crimes very often go unpunished – of the 217 people who died at the hands of the police in Gauteng last year, there has only been one conviction.
On Monday 11 March, the Campaign for Safe Communities will be delivering a memorandum to the Portfolio Committee for Police at Parliament calling for strong action to be taken against police who break the law. For trust and faith to be restored in the police this is imperative.
We will be leaving Ndifuna Ukwazi’s offices (47 on Strand) at 12:00, walk via St. George’s Mall and arrive at Parliament at 13:00 to meet Annelize van Wyk and hand over the memorandum.
Members of the public and the media are invited to attend.
For inquiries please contact:
Axolile Notywala (mobile) 0742895220
For documents related to the Campaign for Safe Communities please visit safecommunities.sjc.org.za