Police brutality stunts fight against violence and gangsterism

The death of Andries Tatane in 2011, the Marikana massacre in 2012, and the recent fatal shooting of Natheniël Julies have one thing in common – they involved acts of what can be called police brutality. The issue of police brutality has emerged as a serious issue of national concern. Given the widespread concerns about crime and criminality in SA, the historical and contemporary context of policing and law enforcement has a significant impact on not only the South African Police Service’s (SAPS) ability to police crime, but also the public’s perceptions of how they police.

In June, the m inister of police Bheki Cele reported in parliament that 49 cases of police brutality had been reported since the start of the Covid-19 lockdown regulations. Cele said that while the police were allowed by law to act with deadly force, they were also bound to act within the law and the constitution. And this is where we find the dilemma of formal policing in SA, especially in relation to another issue of national concern, namely gangsterism and gang violence...

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