For now, the cases of police brutality stand at alarming levels. Police brutality also remains an issue in post-apartheid South Africa as well as in other African nations, including Kenya and Nigeria. (21) ‘Warning lights flashing: A brutal police force with a reputation for corruption’, Institute for Security Studies, 21 August 2013, http://www.issafrica.org. EFF slams SA police for brutality, ‘inheriting Cele’s God-complex’ ... (EFF) have since labelled the police “cowardly thugs” itching to mimic the behaviour of apartheid law enforcement. New York City, 1985. ': SA outraged at viral video of cops beating two men with a sjambok, Police are investigating after an alleged assault on two men by three officers was caught on video. Contact Gibson through Consultancy Africa Intelligence's Rights in Focus unit ( firstname.lastname@example.org). A multifaceted approach is therefore required in eradicating police brutality in South Africa. Burger explains in this respect that “police brutality could not simply be blamed on a few ‘bad apples’, which is an approach taken by police leadership to shift attention from their own shortcomings.”(27) He concludes in the same vein that “the root of the problem lies in poor command and control. (18) Ibid. The brutal reality of apartheid in South Africa 7 December 1976: This edited eye-witness account of the action by South African police in a black township … The IPID was formed in April 1997 to deal with cases that involve improper discharge of duties by the police. She concludes in this line of thought that “the rising income gap, coupled with an official unemployment rate of 25 percent, have helped give rise to a highly organized criminal element across the country. Schools are divided into quintiles, from one to five; the poorest, in quintile one, struggle enormously with a lack of resources and support. This means that just 1.2% of criminal cases opened against law enforcement officials during that time resulted in a conviction. Police brutality should not be examined in isolation. (6) ‘Factsheet, South Africa: Official crime statistics for 2012/13’, Institute for Security Studies, September 2013, http://africacheck.org. This CAI paper attempts to locate the brutality of the SAPS within a wider culture of violence that characterises post-apartheid South Africa. 3 days ago. For example, in 2013, the ISS reported that “1,448 serving police officials had convictions for serious crimes ranging from murder to rape and assault.”(24) If the SAPS wants to increase its human resources base, it has to do so without compromising the quality of the police officers that are recruited. “A plea is hereby made for space to be given for the sanctioned investigation to unfold and be finalised soon. Leadership is another salient aspect that needs to be examined. In a bid at reform, the South African government began rebranding the department when apartheid came to … “What in the apartheid is this,” asked user @explicit_lut. You must not worry about the regulations—that is my responsibility. Before its end in 1994 with the election of Nelson Mandela, the years of apartheid were filled with many struggles and brutality. It was a bloody urban war zone. The massacre was also an emotional reminder that police brutality is still happening in post-apartheid South Africa. For example, in 2008, Susan Shabangu, then Deputy Minister of Safety and Security, instructed the police to shoot to kill. (20) Tlabi, R., ‘Who polices the police?’, South2North on Al Jazeera, 16 March 2013, http://www.aljazeera.com. Where is the Western Cape commissioner?”. Floyd’s death also emboldened a small number of people in Kenya to march and tell their own stories of injustice and brutality by police. Section 4 of the IPID Act regulates the relationship between the IPID and state organs in such a manner that its operations remain impartial and independent. To date, none of the eight police officers involved in the death of Macia have been prosecuted.(12). Moreover, there is need to properly train new recruits as well those who are already active members of the police force, not just on how to investigate crimes but also how to conduct themselves as they discharge their duties. This list compiles incidents alleged or proved to be due to police brutality that attracted significant media or historical attention. According to a report by the ISS, the cases of police brutality brought against the SAPS in 2013 have had serious “consequences for the tax-payer as [SAPS] was facing civil claims valued at more than R480 million [US$ 46 million] in relation to assault, and R1.1 billion [US$ 100 million] related to shooting incidents. Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. It is herein contended that even though the SAPS has inherited a violent past from apartheid, there is need to take responsibility for the present-day behaviour of the police force, instead of using apartheid as a convenient scapegoat. Although legislation does not condone police brutality, Raphaely reveals that police officers involved in brutality and human rights violations are rarely brought to book. (10) Van Graan, M., ‘The A to Z of things we cannot blame on apartheid’, The Mail and Guardian, 13 January 2014, http://www.thoughtleader.co.za. Speculation about what actually happened, including the disclosure of names of the police officials involved, would at this stage of the investigation be detrimental to the probe that is under way.”. A total of 2,320 criminal cases against the police in the 2011/12 reporting period alone is intolerable. Police spokesperson Brig Novela Potelwa said an investigation into the incident has been launched and the police officials captured in the video have been identified as employees attached to a unit in Worcester. Although this graph shows a slight decrease from 2010 in levels of criminal cases against the police as well as police-related deaths, the figures still remain unreasonably high. (9) ‘Violence comes from apartheid: Zuma’, News24, 15 February 2013, http://www.news24.com. How Segregation Shapes Fatal Police Violence : Code Switch Unarmed black people are much more likely than unarmed whites to be fatally shot by the police… (3) Parker, F., ‘Cops drag man to his death – for stopping traffic’, The Mail and Guardian, 1 March 2013, http://mg.co.za. (7) Brown, R.L., ‘How violent is South Africa?’, The Christian Science Monitor, 22 February 2012, http://www.csmonitor.com. They live and work in the same towns, cities, and companies. The National Development Plan recommends that the police code of conduct and code of professionalism be linked to promotion and discipline in the service, and that recruitment should attract competent, skilled professionals.(29). In 1960, at the black township of Sharpesville, the police opened fire on a group of unarmed blacks associated with the Pan-African Congress (PAC), an offshoot of the ANC. What worsens this situation is the fact that taxpayers have to literally pay for the brutality of police. Similar to what’s happening in America with rampant and racist police brutality, the South African Police force is still acting out the murderous and racist ways of the past. Ipid said that it had managed to identify the duo who were seen in video footage as well as the police … separate emails by commas, maximum limit of 4 addresses, 23rd May 2014 (29) Ibid. After the police shooting, many of the locals I spoke to in Eldorado Park echoed a popular refrain among coloured South Africans, “During apartheid we … Subscriptions are available via the Creamer Media Store. (28) Ibid. Despite racial reconciliation that emerged after the end of the apartheid system, poor and black South Africans still … Be that as it may, these resources have been in the hands of the white minority for a long time. © 2021 Arena Holdings (Pty) Ltd. All rights reserved. Ryan Leonora Brown, editor of the Africa Monitor blog, notes: South Africa now has the second widest gap between its rich and its poor in the world. (23) ‘Understanding police brutality in South Africa: Challenges and solutions conference’, 11 April 2014, http://www.issafrica.org. This, in a bid to “leapfrog” access to interactive learning content and improved administrative capabilities. “What in the apartheid is this,” asked user @explicit_lut. This has unfortunately resulted in compromising quality for the sake of quantity. The objective of this paper was to revisit the issue of police brutality in post-apartheid South Africa, since it has recently become a highly contextual topic with polarising views. (11) In the second case, on 26 February 2013, a Mozambican immigrant, Mido Macia, was arrested by the police for causing traffic congestion. (19) Burger, J. and Adonis, C., 2008, ‘A watchdog without teeth’, Institute for Security Studies, http://www.issafrica.org. Advertising on Polity.org.za is an effective way to build and consolidate a company's profile among clients and prospective clients. Award-winning Wits Justice Project senior journalist Carolyn Raphaely observes, vis-à-vis the SAPS, that “an entrenched culture of impunity, with little regard for consequence or culpability, indicates that South Africa has learnt little from the lessons of the past.”(13) Assault, torture, beatings, as well as killings have become part and parcel of the modus operandi of the SAPS. (26) Plantive, C., ‘SA cops urged to aim for the head’, The Mail and Guardian, 22 July 2007, http://mg.co.za. Instead of encouraging the use of brutal force, these influential people should be at the forefront of enlightening police officers on the merits of restraint in the discharge of their duties. One of the government’s attempts to address these inequalities is through technology. Trevor Noah. How Segregation Shapes Fatal Police Violence : Code Switch Unarmed black people are much more likely than unarmed whites to be fatally shot by the police… Where is the Western Cape commissioner?”, “Is this sjambok even part of the SA Police Service issued equipment?”, “This is police brutality. The group had arrived at the police station without passes, inviting arrest as an act of resistance. The first case occurred on 16 August 2012, when a workers’ strike at Lonmin Mine in Marikana ended with police cornering the striking workers and opening fire on them. A senior officer is leading an investigation into the alleged assault of two men caught on video footage in Worcester. Email email@example.com, Deepening Democracy through Access to Information, Figure 1: Fatalities and criminal cases against the police, Figure 2: Number of cases reported to the IPID, South African Institute of International Affairs, How South Africa can prepare for a data-driven education system, Apartheid’s violent legacy: Police brutality in South Africa. To begin with, South Africa possesses enormous reserves of mineral resources and has robustly invested in infrastructural developments. By Audre Lorde. Graeme Hosken, a journalist who specialises in crime, observes, “Negligent police management, poor training, disrespect for law and order, criminal members within police ranks and blatant disregard for internal disciplinary procedures are the chief causes behind the scourge of police brutality gripping South Africa.”(22) If police brutality is to be stamped out, then it is imperative that all members of the SAPS adhere to the legislation governing their operations. Police reports from the time of the massacre claimed that panicking officers spontaneously fired into an increasingly violent crowd; however, other sources claim that the … Sara Mokuria, co-founder of Mothers Against Police Brutality, stands by some sun flowers on a sunny day in Dallas. Firm and resolute action is required if the SAPS is to be trusted, not feared, as South Africa grapples to heal from its violent past. (11) Chapple, I. and Barnett, E., ‘What’s behind South Africa’s mine violence?’, CNN, 14 September 2012, http://edition.cnn.com. Robo-concierge and self check-in: Sandton hotel embraces AI technology. To advertise email firstname.lastname@example.org or click here, Updated 3 hours ago Bearing in mind that the main objective of the police in a democratic South Africa is to police communities in partnership with its members, it is a travesty that the public is gradually losing confidence in the police as the police themselves become … Macia later died in police custody due to head injuries and internal bleeding. One major issue associated with police brutality is that it negatively impacts the relationship between the police and the public. The government responded to a series of popular uprisings and protests with police brutality, which in turn increased local support for the armed resistance struggle. Please enter the email address that you used to register on Polity.org.za. This incident was filmed on a phone and the video immediately went viral on social media. (14) Ibid. police brutality: demonstrator attacked by police dog. (12) Parker, F., ‘Cops drag man to his death – for stopping traffic’, The Mail and Guardian, 1 March 2013, http://mg.co.za. In recent years, the South African Police Service (SAPS) has come under the spotlight due to the increasing number of incidents in which civilians have been assaulted or even killed by the police. The graph by Dr Johan Burger, Senior Researcher at the ISS, illustrates the high levels of criminal cases against police: Figure 1: Fatalities and criminal cases against the police (15). A total of 44 miners lost their lives and at least 78 others were injured. Mokuria saw her father get shot and killed by the police when she was 10. The most publicised of these cases were the mass killing of miners on strike in the North West province and the killing of a taxi driver in the township of Daveyton in Gauteng. ... Only five of 147 cases of alleged police brutality in Gauteng have been resolved in the past five years. EMAIL THIS ARTICLE. Cases such as the August 2012 killing of 34 mineworkers in Marikana in the North West province,(2) the death of Mido Macia after being dragged behind a police van in Daveyton in Gauteng province,(3) and the ruthless March 2014 assault on Clement Emekeneh in Cape Town (4) are just the tip of the iceberg of the ever escalating brutality of the SAPS. Mike van Graan, Executive Director of the African Arts Institute and UNESCO Technical Expert on the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, expounds, “While it is true that apartheid legacies remain manifested in many aspects of our lives, there are many choices that have been made and things that have occurred in a post-apartheid society which we would not have expected.”(10) Although violence played a pivotal part in the apartheid regime and in its final overthrow, there is need for South Africa to look beyond the violent past as it grapples with its ideals of creating a ‘rainbow nation’. This began as early as 2003 with the Draft White Paper on e-Education. On one hand, there is need to address the violent and brutal past that was inherited from the apartheid regime. At least 67 blacks were killed and more than 180 wounded. Both the devastating effects of violence, and the risk factors underlying it, have existed before…and will continue to exist.”(5) The official crime statistics for 2012/13 prepared by the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) show that there has been a steady increase in violent crimes in South Africa. A police officer shot her in the back on that November day in 1990. There are significant disparities in South Africa’s education system. On social media, many weighed in on the video, saying the police conduct was brutal and should be condemned. All primary school pupils can return on February 15, but secondary schools must ... Teargas & clashes with police as youth protest: What's happening in Tunisia? Tlabi affirmed that in the past, the “IPID has complained that the recommendations they make to the SAPS don’t get implemented and the police actually close rank.”(20) It is perplexing that although there are legislation and investigative directorates in place to ensure that the SAPS operates efficiently and in a manner respecting human rights and dignity, cases of police brutality and impunity continue to soar. These and similar policies aim to resource more marginalised schools, universities and colleges with digital tools. But many say that the economic explanation doesn’t tell the full story.”(8) If the unequal distribution of wealth cannot fully explain the prevalence of violence in post-apartheid South Africa, then there is need to offer a historical examination of the problem. Commemoration for Ebrahim Carelse, bystander killed by apartheid police brutality By Sukaina Ishmail Sep 11, 2020 Cape Town - The death of Ebrahim Carelse, an … (24) ‘'Warning lights flashing: A brutal police force with a reputation for corruption’, Institute for Security Studies, 21 August 2013, http://www.issafrica.org. Research Manager: Mandy Noonan. In the light of the history of brutality by the South African Police during apartheid there would appear to be considerable justification for the exploration of questions to do with police brutality in contemporary South Africa. Your responsibility is to serve and protect. You have one shot and it must be a kill shot.”(25) Such a controversial statement by a high-ranking minister is not only unfortunate, but can be seen as a catalyst in encouraging policemen to employ extreme violence and brutality. The high sign that rules this summer is increasing fragmentation. EMAIL THIS ARTICLE SAVE THIS ARTICLE, To subscribe email email@example.com or click here (5) Dziewanski, D., ‘The real face of violence in South Africa’, The Mail and Guardian, 13 March 2014, http://www.thoughtleader.co.za. →, Polity.org.za is a product of Creamer Media.www.creamermedia.co.za, Other Creamer Media Products include:Engineering NewsMining WeeklyResearch Channel Africa, Sign up for our FREE daily email newsletter. The police thus use brutal force while fully cognisant that they will receive the backing of the political leaders. The minister’s refusal to condemn disproportionate use of force by the police is extremely dangerous for SA. “SAPS in the Western Cape wishes to place on record that the beating up and manhandling of individuals and/or suspects is against departmental directives and prescripts that govern the handling of persons by police officials. The police force provides a prime example of the violence that is so prevalent in South Africa. According to her, “Only one conviction was obtained in 217 deaths allegedly at the hands of the police or in police custody, as investigated by the directorate in Gauteng in 2011/12.”(14) In 2013, the Parliament of South Africa promulgated the Prevention and Combating of Torture of Persons Act, which sought to protect and promote human dignity, including that of individuals who have been arrested and are in police custody. It has to be considered in the broader socioeconomic and political context in which the police force operates. News. The killing of these miners was caught and broadcast on live television. The police have made efforts to to move on from the brutality of the apartheid era. Floyd’s death also emboldened a small number of people in Kenya to march and tell their own stories of injustice and brutality by police. In many instances, the current violence that is prevalent in South Africa is attributed to the apartheid legacy, which was characterised by brutal and violent use of force by law enforcement agents. After two weeks off, Trevor Noah returned to the Daily Show on Monday night and addressed the protests against anti-black racism and police brutality … President Jacob Zuma alluded to this fact when he stated that apartheid was directly responsible for creating a culture of violence: I don't think as a nation we just became violent overnight. (17) ‘Code of Conduct of the South African Police Service’, October 1997, http://www.saps.gov.za. After the police shooting, many of the locals I spoke to in Eldorado Park echoed a popular refrain among coloured South Africans, “During apartheid we … The racist system of Apartheid ended 21 years ago in South Africa, but the ghost of the horrible laws and the state of mind behind them still reign supreme. Can the violence of apartheid continue to be used to explain the ongoing violence of South African societies? It’s heartbreaking to see the people who should protect us as citizens doing this to us,”, , “This is the kind of thing in our constitutional dispensation that should not be allowed to go without consequence. Your password will be sent to this address. President Jacob Zuma alluded to this fact when he stated that apartheid was directly responsible for creating a culture of violence: Similarly, one of the public protests that resulted in death of a protestor which sparked anger across the country was the killing of Andries Tatane, a 33 year old man, by the South African police officials. Potelwa said the two men are yet to be identified and would be interviewed as part of the investigation. The majority of the cases received were assault cases, namely 4,131. Another example is by the former Police Commissioner Bheki Cele, who advised the police in 2007 to use lethal force and always “aim for the head”(26) whenever under attack. (1) Gibson Ncube is a Research Associate with the Rights in Focus unit at CAI. By: In On Africa IOA, SAVE THIS ARTICLE Edited by Kate Morgan. Read more at the SA government's online coronavirus portal or use the 24-hour public hotline: 0800 029 999. He points out: If we are to do away with police brutality, we need to start with the implementation of the recommendations of the National Development Plan, which are constructive and good. It is also asserted in this paper that there is urgent need to police the police, if the prevalence of brutality by law enforcement agents is to be curbed. Numerous incidents of police brutality have been highly publicised in local and international media. BRUTALITY Apartheid activist Bradley Steyn shows the spot to his chest where he was hit by a police baton. Bheki Cele needs to tame his boys now, they are out of control,”. Woman dumps SA man — and then he wins R60m PowerBall, Pensioner, 91, loses RDP house to senior ANC official. The group had arrived at the police station without passes, inviting arrest as an act of resistance. (25) Ellis, M., ‘Police brutality: A threat to rights?’, iAfrica.com, 24 March 2014, http://news.iafrica.com. In the last decade, there has been a massive drive to expand the police force. Furthermore, the 2012/13 report by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) shows that the number of cases reported involving police misconduct and brutality continue to rise alarmingly. At least 67 blacks were killed and more than 180 wounded. By Sukaina Ishmail Sep 11, 2020. A commission of inquiry set up by President Zuma has yet to conclude its investigations, as of the time of writing. Current brutality of police and general policing standards in South Africa are unacceptable for a democratic country. According to reports, the police were trying to enforce social distancing amid snaking queues. These acts of defiance were met with police and state brutality. Apartheid flying squad - This extract shows examples of the mistreatment of black people by the police during Apartheid. Victims of Worcester sjambok incident opened case of police brutality - Ipid. Bheki Cele needs to tame his boys now, they are out of control,” said user @ntobengnkadimen. On Apartheid, Police Brutality, and Internationalism. “This is police brutality. ... 1960, would provide a turning point in the struggle against apartheid. Commemoration for Ebrahim Carelse, bystander killed by apartheid police brutality. His key research interests are in gender and queer studies as well as human rights. A few events hold great significance and are considered turning points in the development and the fall of apartheid. Such statistics have led Burger and Cyril Adonis (Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation) to author a report whose title likens the independent investigative directorate to a “watchdog without teeth.”(19) Reiterating this same point in an interview on the programme South 2 North on Al-Jazeera, Redi Tlabi pointed out to Commissioner of Police Riah Phiyega that the IPID might not be as effective as the legislation that led to its creation. The current culture of brutality and impunity that characterises its operations is not only unsustainable but also self-defeating, given that the primary duties of the police are to stamp out all forms of crime and protect the public. Apartheid was a very violent system. POLICE BRUTALITY: Police officer breaks woman’s leg during Raila's visit to Huruma Tragedy site Related Topics apartheid 2017 general elections police brutality If legislation and the IPID are unable to govern and regulate the SAPS and its operations, it is necessary to ask what should be done to ensure that the cases of police brutality decrease. She stated, “You must kill the bastards if they threaten you or the community. (8) Ibid. “Is this sjambok even part of the SA Police Service issued equipment?” user @Buntumzileni2 asked. Pertinent as Zuma’s explanation may be, it is important to point out that 20 years have passed since the fall of the apartheid regime. Having a police force composed of criminals is a self-defeating exercise if one of the main objectives of the SAPS is to ensure that offenders are brought to justice. User @ngcamani_ said, “This is the kind of thing in our constitutional dispensation that should not be allowed to go without consequence. “The experience of police brutality is something extremely common to the black South African experience,” says Solomzi Henry Moleketi, who stood outside the … "This brutality is not structured racially but it is structured against the poor in society," Ibrahim told ABC News. Videos of SA police using water cannons on frail grant beneficiaries — most of whom were collecting disability grants — began to spread like wildfire on social media. It is hoped that this Act will play a central role in combating the brutality and impunity of the SAPS. Violence is a direct consequence of apartheid. In many instances, the current violence that is prevalent in South Africa is attributed to the apartheid legacy, which was characterised by brutal and violent use of force by law enforcement agents. There’s been a serious rise in brutal police enforcement and killings under a post-apartheid government, and most of these acts of brutality have been inflicted on the black poor. In its 2012/13 annual report, the IPID disclosed that “a total of 6,728 cases were received by the IPID during the reporting period. For South Africans who survived apartheid, the end of the brutal system was the birth of a new world, midwifed in large part by Nelson Mandela. On 21 March 1960, SAP officers in the Transvaal township of Sharpeville opened fire on a large anti-apartheid protest outside of the local police station, killing 69 demonstrators and injuring 180 others. “ violence in South Africa to shoot to kill ‘ Understanding police brutality in South Africa last..., PDF Reports and our photo library “ is this sjambok even part of the apartheid! 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