Rubber bullets outlawed - Mthethwa
POLICE will no longer be allowed to use rubber bullets to control unruly protesters.
This was revealed by Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa during the Mpumalanga Safety and Security Summit in Secunda on Friday.
"We have consistently emphasised that protests are a democratic and constitutional right of every citizen to express themselves. However, what the Constitution does not prescribe are violent and barbaric destruction of property and intolerant conducts, including provoking and touting police.
"One of the things we have tasked police to do is use water cannons during protests instead of rubber bullets," he said.
This will be applicable immediately.
He said when one looked at the current legislation, somehow police were expected to solve even matters that were beyond their control.
"You have a case of domestic violence or spousal violence, wherein a husband abuses a wife.
"Have we addressed the issue holistically by arresting the abuser? We do not think so.
"In most cases police do not have the capability to sort out relationship problems."
Mthethwa's spokesman Zweli Mnisi said efforts would be made to recruit officers. "The minister made it clear that we lose some of our skillful officers because their skills are not noticed and we need to change that."
- This article was first published on 6 August 2012