I have called for a debate in the Western Cape Provincial Parliament on the militarisation of the police and ongoing instances of police brutality in the Western Cape. Two instances of police brutality that have occurred in the past 2 weeks in Cape Town, and that should worry us all, have sparked my call on behalf of the ACDP:
Firstly, the blind busker Lunga Goodman Nono, who has played his guitar in and around Green Market Square since 2008, was brutalised and even had his guitar broken by uniformed members of Cape Town’s Metro Police on Monday 08 July.
Secondly, the Bo-Kaap homeless community who continue to complain about intimidation, threats and even theft by ‘government security officials’ (both SAPS and the City deny it is their officials).
These are just two recent examples of police brutality in the Western Cape that have hit the mainstream media, but there are no-doubt countless others that occur almost on a daily basis – and it is utterly unacceptable. It is no more acceptable just because I’m not the victim. I would hope you feel the same. In fact, the common thread in both of these examples, is that vulnerable, defenseless people are being brutalised. This makes it more heinous for the ACDP.
I see this as part of an ongoing and increasing nation-wide, even a world-wide ‘trend’ among security agencies (in our case this would include SAPS officials, Metro Police, Law Enforcement Officials, traffic officials, etc). Who can ever forget the very public murder of Andries Tatane in Ficksburg in April 2011 – an unarmed man killed by SAPS officials for participating in a service delivery protest; or the Marikane Mine massacre of August 2012. These two caused shock waves around the world.
It is more and more evident to me that neither the ANC (nationally) nor the DA (provincially) have the will or ability to crack down and stop on the brutalisation of ordinary South Africans by security officials. Instead, their inaction, silence and side-stepping amounts to condonation.
We cannot turn a blind eye nor can us ordinary South Africans accept this from the very people who are meant to serve us.