Cops probe welcomed

WE welcome the decision by the Independent Complaints Directorate to investigate allegations of police misconduct at an ANC Youth League provincial meeting in Limpopo in April.

WE welcome the decision by the Independent Complaints Directorate to investigate allegations of police misconduct at an ANC Youth League provincial meeting in Limpopo in April.

The opposition DA posted a complaint with the police watchdog after TV footage showed league president Julius Malema ordering police officers to eject rival delegates from the meeting - and the police following his orders.

In the scenes police officers are seen bundling out members of the youth league and in the background Malema is heard issuing instructions to the officers to remove members.

This misconduct, by both the police and Malema, sends a shiver down one's spine.

The South African Police Service Act states clearly that, among other things, members of the police service are prohibited from publicly displaying or expressing support for or associating themselves with a political party, organisation or movement.

We are also worried about the deafening silence of police chiefs General Bheki Cele and Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa on this matter.

What happened in April was a stark reminder of the apartheid era, during which the police force of the time was politically influenced and took orders from the now defunct National Party government.

During those dark days the ruling party misused the police force to oppress, suppress and exploit the opposition and counter any dissenting view.

As for Malema, his actions were a betrayal of the rich history and struggle credentials of his predecesors, such as Mandela and Tambo, who fought against this kind of misconduct.

We would hate to go back to that evil past.

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