KWAZULU-NATAL MEC for transport, community safety and liaison Willies Mchunu says police will investigate innovative ways of dealing with protests and conflict situations instead of indiscriminately using rubber bullets.
He was referring to the clash between warring factions of the IFP Youth Brigade which was dispersed by police using rubber bullets. A newspaper photographer was injured in the fracas.
"We are saddened that a member of the media was injured as a result of our police's action. On behalf of the people of KwaZulu-Natal, we apologise for the mishap. I want to assure the public that our belief in media freedom remains intact. We stand ready to defend the basic human rights of all our people even those who are protesting," he said.
Mchunu said pictures of the newspaper photographer beamed across the globe by international news agencies left a bitter taste in the mouth.
"Events such as these might send a wrong signal to fans queuing to come to South Africa for the 2010 Fifa World Cup," Mchunu said.