Macia later died in police custody due to head injuries and internal bleeding. A few events hold great significance and are considered turning points in the development and the fall of apartheid. Sara Mokuria, co-founder of Mothers Against Police Brutality, stands by some sun flowers on a sunny day in Dallas. In the last decade, there has been a massive drive to expand the police force. She stated, “You must kill the bastards if they threaten you or the community. The group had arrived at the police station without passes, inviting arrest as an act of resistance. ... Police trapped the … The most publicised of these cases were the mass killing of miners on strike in the North West province and the killing of a taxi driver in the township of Daveyton in Gauteng. Commemoration for Ebrahim Carelse, bystander killed by apartheid police brutality By Sukaina Ishmail Sep 11, 2020 Cape Town - The death of Ebrahim Carelse, an … Award-winning Wits Justice Project senior journalist Carolyn Raphaely observes, vis-à-vis the SAPS, that “an entrenched culture of impunity, with little regard for consequence or culpability, indicates that South Africa has learnt little from the lessons of the past.”(13) Assault, torture, beatings, as well as killings have become part and parcel of the modus operandi of the SAPS. “What in the apartheid is this,” asked user @explicit_lut. How Segregation Shapes Fatal Police Violence : Code Switch Unarmed black people are much more likely than unarmed whites to be fatally shot by the police… police brutality: demonstrator attacked by police dog. A police officer shot her in the back on that November day in 1990. The Turn to Violence During 1959 and 1960, violence broke out in several South African cities. (1) Gibson Ncube is a Research Associate with the Rights in Focus unit at CAI. Section 4 of the IPID Act regulates the relationship between the IPID and state organs in such a manner that its operations remain impartial and independent. Robo-concierge and self check-in: Sandton hotel embraces AI technology. In many instances, the current violence that is prevalent in South Africa is attributed to the apartheid legacy, which was characterised by brutal and violent use of force by law enforcement agents. In the post-apartheid era, an increasing number of blacks have joined the minority white in the elite rich, and the divide between the rich and the poor has continued to widen unabatedly. They also tend to have poorer educational outcomes. The government responded to a series of popular uprisings and protests with police brutality, which in turn increased local support for the armed resistance struggle. President Jacob Zuma alluded to this fact when he stated that apartheid was directly responsible for creating a culture of violence: Current brutality of police and general policing standards in South Africa are unacceptable for a democratic country. Another example is by the former Police Commissioner Bheki Cele, who advised the police in 2007 to use lethal force and always “aim for the head”(26) whenever under attack. "This brutality is not structured racially but it is structured against the poor in society," Ibrahim told ABC News. Burger notes that the transformation of the SAPS, particularly in regards to police brutality, should be done in a manner that aligns itself with the National Development Plan. For how long can apartheid be held responsible for the ills that plague post-1994 South Africa? He was referring to the BBC report which showed police beating and kicking suspected car thieves. Apartheid was a very violent system. Protesters were beaten and tried en masse in unfair legal proceedings. Violence is a direct consequence of apartheid. In 1960, at the black township of Sharpesville, the police opened fire on a group of unarmed blacks associated with the Pan-African Congress (PAC), an offshoot of the ANC. As embodied in the reappearance of the sjambok, police brutality, therefore, reflects the superficial nature of police reform in the post-apartheid period. Seven hundred and three of all cases received were other criminal matters, whereas 670 were complaints of discharge of official firearms and 431 of the cases were deaths as a result of police action.”(18) Interestingly, of the 6,728 cases received by the IPID, only 84 convictions were effected. The high sign that rules this summer is increasing fragmentation. (15) Burger, J., ‘Police brutality: Reasons and Solutions’, Institute for Security Studies, 11 April 2013, http://www.issafrica.org. Nathi Mthethwa, South Africa’s police minister noted in a May 2013 speech that “contrary to the current discourse, more people are beginning to feel safe.”(30) He observed, for example, that in the previous three years, sexual offences had reduced by 11.9%, bank robberies had gone down by 64.2%, and cases of attempted murder had reduced by 21.8%. (13) Raphaely, C., ‘Apartheid culture of police brutality still alive today’, The Mail and Guardian, 31 January 2014, http://mg.co.za. To access earlier articles, click Advanced Search and set an earlier date range.To search for a term containing the '&' symbol, click Advanced Search and use the 'search headings' and/or 'in first paragraph' options. At least 67 blacks were killed and more than 180 wounded. It is overdue that the SAPS transform the manner in which some of its employees carry out their duties. On the other hand, it is imperative to look beyond apartheid and work on creating a competent and skilled police force through the recruitment of properly qualified and trained individuals. (27) Burger, J., ‘Understanding police brutality in South Africa: Challenges and solutions’, Institute for Security Studies, 11 April 2013, http://www.issafrica.org. New York City, 1985. (7) Brown, R.L., ‘How violent is South Africa?’, The Christian Science Monitor, 22 February 2012, http://www.csmonitor.com. Tlabi affirmed that in the past, the “IPID has complained that the recommendations they make to the SAPS don’t get implemented and the police actually close rank.”(20) It is perplexing that although there are legislation and investigative directorates in place to ensure that the SAPS operates efficiently and in a manner respecting human rights and dignity, cases of police brutality and impunity continue to soar. An analysis of speeches of certain political leaders and those in charge of the police shows a dearth in focused and exemplary leadership. The graph by Dr Johan Burger, Senior Researcher at the ISS, illustrates the high levels of criminal cases against police: Figure 1: Fatalities and criminal cases against the police (15). The majority of the cases received were assault cases, namely 4,131. On social media, many weighed in on the video, saying the police conduct was brutal and should be condemned. That has a direct effect on university admission and outcomes. This CAI paper attempts to locate the brutality of the SAPS within a wider culture of violence that characterises post-apartheid South Africa. (22) Hosken, G., ‘Why SA cops are so brutal’, Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation, 26 May 2011, http://www.csvr.org.za. Apartheid sparked significant internal resistance. He was tied onto the back of a police vehicle and dragged around the township of Daveyton in full view of local residents. Woman dumps SA man — and then he wins R60m PowerBall, Pensioner, 91, loses RDP house to senior ANC official. His key research interests are in gender and queer studies as well as human rights. Some individuals have tried to justify the level of brutality by the South Although this graph shows a slight decrease from 2010 in levels of criminal cases against the police as well as police-related deaths, the figures still remain unreasonably high. According to her, “Only one conviction was obtained in 217 deaths allegedly at the hands of the police or in police custody, as investigated by the directorate in Gauteng in 2011/12.”(14) In 2013, the Parliament of South Africa promulgated the Prevention and Combating of Torture of Persons Act, which sought to protect and promote human dignity, including that of individuals who have been arrested and are in police custody. ... Only five of 147 cases of alleged police brutality in Gauteng have been resolved in the past five years. (2) Chapple, I. and Barnett, E., ‘What’s behind South Africa’s mine violence?’, CNN, 14 September 2012, http://edition.cnn.com. The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have since labelled the police “cowardly thugs” itching to mimic the behaviour of apartheid law enforcement. (25) Ellis, M., ‘Police brutality: A threat to rights?’, iAfrica.com, 24 March 2014, http://news.iafrica.com. Meaning, they must be held accountable for violating operational policy. Police brutality should not be examined in isolation. Firstly, it is evident that police have been known to use unnecessarily excessive force. “Is this sjambok even part of the SA Police Service issued equipment?” user @Buntumzileni2 asked. In recent years, the South African Police Service (SAPS) has come under the spotlight due to the increasing number of incidents in which civilians have been assaulted or even killed by the police. In a bid at reform, the South African government began rebranding the department when apartheid came to … “What in the apartheid is this,” asked user @explicit_lut. A total of 2,320 criminal cases against the police in the 2011/12 reporting period alone is intolerable. separate emails by commas, maximum limit of 4 addresses, 23rd May 2014 The IPID was formed in April 1997 to deal with cases that involve improper discharge of duties by the police. It was a bloody urban war zone. (16) ‘Independent Police Investigative Directorate Annual Report 2012/2013’, IPID, August 2013, http://www.ipid.gov.za. So violent that even if you peacefully demonstrated, they would shoot at you and kill you. “A plea is hereby made for space to be given for the sanctioned investigation to unfold and be finalised soon. Bheki Cele needs to tame his boys now, they are out of control,” said user @ntobengnkadimen. The cases previously mentioned on police brutality illustrate that law enforcement agents act, in many instances, in a manner that disrespects human rights and dignity. EFF slams SA police for brutality, ‘inheriting Cele’s God-complex’ ... (EFF) have since labelled the police “cowardly thugs” itching to mimic the behaviour of apartheid law enforcement. ... 1960, would provide a turning point in the struggle against apartheid. For example, compared to the 2011/12 reporting period, there was an increase of 4.2% in murders, 1.5% in sexual offences, and 4.4% in aggravated public robberies. A multifaceted approach is therefore required in eradicating police brutality in South Africa. Police reports from the time of the massacre claimed that panicking officers spontaneously fired into an increasingly violent crowd; however, other sources claim that the … Schools are divided into quintiles, from one to five; the poorest, in quintile one, struggle enormously with a lack of resources and support. Leadership is another salient aspect that needs to be examined. On one hand, there is need to address the violent and brutal past that was inherited from the apartheid regime. (28) Ibid. The killing of these miners was caught and broadcast on live television. One major issue associated with police brutality is that it negatively impacts the relationship between the police and the public. Can the violence of apartheid continue to be used to explain the ongoing violence of South African societies? Although legislation does not condone police brutality, Raphaely reveals that police officers involved in brutality and human rights violations are rarely brought to book. Instead of encouraging the use of brutal force, these influential people should be at the forefront of enlightening police officers on the merits of restraint in the discharge of their duties. By Audre Lorde. (24) ‘'Warning lights flashing: A brutal police force with a reputation for corruption’, Institute for Security Studies, 21 August 2013, http://www.issafrica.org. It is herein contended that even though the SAPS has inherited a violent past from apartheid, there is need to take responsibility for the present-day behaviour of the police force, instead of using apartheid as a convenient scapegoat. Some individuals have tried to justify the level of brutality by the South Such statistics have led Burger and Cyril Adonis (Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation) to author a report whose title likens the independent investigative directorate to a “watchdog without teeth.”(19) Reiterating this same point in an interview on the programme South 2 North on Al-Jazeera, Redi Tlabi pointed out to Commissioner of Police Riah Phiyega that the IPID might not be as effective as the legislation that led to its creation. Read more at the SA government's online coronavirus portal or use the 24-hour public hotline: 0800 029 999. You have one shot and it must be a kill shot.”(25) Such a controversial statement by a high-ranking minister is not only unfortunate, but can be seen as a catalyst in encouraging policemen to employ extreme violence and brutality. (30) Rademeyer, J., ‘Police minister’s speech a glass half full’, Africa Check, 5 June 2013, http://africacheck.org. Both the devastating effects of violence, and the risk factors underlying it, have existed before…and will continue to exist.”(5) The official crime statistics for 2012/13 prepared by the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) show that there has been a steady increase in violent crimes in South Africa. The National Development Plan recommends that the police code of conduct and code of professionalism be linked to promotion and discipline in the service, and that recruitment should attract competent, skilled professionals.(29). These instructions from those in leadership positions incite police officers to think that they can do whatever they want, and that they are above the law. Victims of Worcester sjambok incident opened case of police brutality - Ipid. Which is why, more than three decades later, the police killing of George Floyd still takes an emotional toll on black South Africans, who find themselves reliving the trauma of apartheid… Police spokesperson Brig Novela Potelwa said an investigation into the incident has been launched and the police officials captured in the video have been identified as employees attached to a unit in Worcester. Similarly, one of the public protests that resulted in death of a protestor which sparked anger across the country was the killing of Andries Tatane, a 33 year old man, by the South African police officials. Research Manager: Mandy Noonan. BRUTALITY Apartheid activist Bradley Steyn shows the spot to his chest where he was hit by a police baton. Despite racial reconciliation that emerged after the end of the apartheid system, poor and black South Africans still … Police brutality also remains an issue in post-apartheid South Africa as well as in other African nations, including Kenya and Nigeria. A total of 44 miners lost their lives and at least 78 others were injured. Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. The racist system of Apartheid ended 21 years ago in South Africa, but the ghost of the horrible laws and the state of mind behind them still reign supreme. (17) ‘Code of Conduct of the South African Police Service’, October 1997, http://www.saps.gov.za. Mokuria saw her father get shot and killed by the police when she was 10. Speculation about what actually happened, including the disclosure of names of the police officials involved, would at this stage of the investigation be detrimental to the probe that is under way.”. It has to be considered in the broader socioeconomic and political context in which the police force operates. The first case occurred on 16 August 2012, when a workers’ strike at Lonmin Mine in Marikana ended with police cornering the striking workers and opening fire on them. How Segregation Shapes Fatal Police Violence : Code Switch Unarmed black people are much more likely than unarmed whites to be fatally shot by the police… Mbeki: Apartheid behind police violence Post-apartheid South Africa still faces immense challenges The South African Deputy President, Thabo Mbeki, has denounced recent police brutality and blamed it on the legacy of apartheid. →, Polity.org.za is a product of Creamer Media.www.creamermedia.co.za, Other Creamer Media Products include:Engineering NewsMining WeeklyResearch Channel Africa, Sign up for our FREE daily email newsletter. The objective of this paper was to revisit the issue of police brutality in post-apartheid South Africa, since it has recently become a highly contextual topic with polarising views. For example, in 2013, the ISS reported that “1,448 serving police officials had convictions for serious crimes ranging from murder to rape and assault.”(24) If the SAPS wants to increase its human resources base, it has to do so without compromising the quality of the police officers that are recruited. (19) Burger, J. and Adonis, C., 2008, ‘A watchdog without teeth’, Institute for Security Studies, http://www.issafrica.org. In 1960, at the black township of Sharpesville, the police opened fire on a group of unarmed blacks associated with the Pan-African Congress (PAC), an offshoot of the ANC. “SAPS in the Western Cape wishes to place on record that the beating up and manhandling of individuals and/or suspects is against departmental directives and prescripts that govern the handling of persons by police officials. All primary school pupils can return on February 15, but secondary schools must ... Teargas & clashes with police as youth protest: What's happening in Tunisia? Mass recruitment of police officers, while justifiable in the face of elevated levels of crime, should not result in the enlistment of poorly trained or unqualified officers. At least 67 blacks were killed and more than 180 wounded. Edited by Kate Morgan. The other man appears to receive a few slaps from another officer. He points out: If we are to do away with police brutality, we need to start with the implementation of the recommendations of the National Development Plan, which are constructive and good. (20) Tlabi, R., ‘Who polices the police?’, South2North on Al Jazeera, 16 March 2013, http://www.aljazeera.com. This means that just 1.2% of criminal cases opened against law enforcement officials during that time resulted in a conviction. The group had arrived at the police station without passes, inviting arrest as an act of resistance. (6) ‘Factsheet, South Africa: Official crime statistics for 2012/13’, Institute for Security Studies, September 2013, http://africacheck.org. September 11, 2017. Trevor Noah. Share this article: Share Tweet Share Share Share Email Share. (21) ‘Warning lights flashing: A brutal police force with a reputation for corruption’, Institute for Security Studies, 21 August 2013, http://www.issafrica.org. To advertise email advertising@creamermedia.co.za or click here, Updated 3 hours ago There’s been a serious rise in brutal police enforcement and killings under a post-apartheid government, and most of these acts of brutality have been inflicted on the black poor. Ipid said that it had managed to identify the duo who were seen in video footage as well as the police … The brutal reality of apartheid in South Africa 7 December 1976: This edited eye-witness account of the action by South African police in a black township … After the police shooting, many of the locals I spoke to in Eldorado Park echoed a popular refrain among coloured South Africans, “During apartheid we … On 21 March 1960, SAP officers in the Transvaal township of Sharpeville opened fire on a large anti-apartheid protest outside of the local police station, killing 69 demonstrators and injuring 180 others. News. Burger explains in this respect that “police brutality could not simply be blamed on a few ‘bad apples’, which is an approach taken by police leadership to shift attention from their own shortcomings.”(27) He concludes in the same vein that “the root of the problem lies in poor command and control. Dariusz Dziewanski, a researcher and consultant in international development, stresses that “violence in South Africa is nothing new. According to reports, the police were trying to enforce social distancing amid snaking queues. Graeme Hosken, a journalist who specialises in crime, observes, “Negligent police management, poor training, disrespect for law and order, criminal members within police ranks and blatant disregard for internal disciplinary procedures are the chief causes behind the scourge of police brutality gripping South Africa.”(22) If police brutality is to be stamped out, then it is imperative that all members of the SAPS adhere to the legislation governing their operations. Total claims against the police have doubled in the past two years to R14.8 billion [US$ 1.4 billion].”(21). Moreover, there is need to properly train new recruits as well those who are already active members of the police force, not just on how to investigate crimes but also how to conduct themselves as they discharge their duties. User @ngcamani_ said, “This is the kind of thing in our constitutional dispensation that should not be allowed to go without consequence. The photo was taken right before his emergency surgery to save his left testicle, after he was shot close-range rubber bullet by Los Angeles police on Sunday. A video showing Western Cape police officers using a sjambok to beat up two unidentified men has sparked outrage on social media. This was the finding of a two-year process in which a SAPS Policy Advisory Council had inspected three quarters of the country’s police stations.”(28) Political leaders, as well as the commissioners of the SAPS, need to lead by example, particularly in the statements that they issue concerning the modus operandi of the police. “The experience of police brutality is something extremely common to the black South African experience,” says Solomzi Henry Moleketi, who stood outside the … And those who live among the world’s economic elite and those who survive on a few dollars a day don’t inhabit distinct worlds. (11) Chapple, I. and Barnett, E., ‘What’s behind South Africa’s mine violence?’, CNN, 14 September 2012, http://edition.cnn.com. ': SA outraged at viral video of cops beating two men with a sjambok, Police are investigating after an alleged assault on two men by three officers was caught on video. Subscriptions are available via the Creamer Media Store. The next section attempts to analyse the manner in which there is need to police the police if their current modus operandi is to be improved. But many say that the economic explanation doesn’t tell the full story.”(8) If the unequal distribution of wealth cannot fully explain the prevalence of violence in post-apartheid South Africa, then there is need to offer a historical examination of the problem. © 2021 Arena Holdings (Pty) Ltd. All rights reserved. All these achievements are, however, overshadowed by the ever increasing cases of police brutality. Contact Gibson through Consultancy Africa Intelligence's Rights in Focus unit ( rights.focus@consultancyafrica.com). One of the government’s attempts to address these inequalities is through technology. (18) Ibid. The next section discusses areas that require critical attention, if the reputation—and more importantly, the conduct—of the SAPS are to be rehabilitated. (29) Ibid. After the police shooting, many of the locals I spoke to in Eldorado Park echoed a popular refrain among coloured South Africans, “During apartheid we …      EMAIL THIS ARTICLE. Two suspected assassins slain on an ordinary suburban road in the middle of the day with spine-chilling brutality. These acts of defiance were met with police and state brutality. This, in a bid to “leapfrog” access to interactive learning content and improved administrative capabilities. Bearing in mind that the main objective of the police in a democratic South Africa is to police communities in partnership with its members, it is a travesty that the public is gradually losing confidence in the police as the police themselves become … It is also asserted in this paper that there is urgent need to police the police, if the prevalence of brutality by law enforcement agents is to be curbed. A third other officer is also seen dragging the second guy and starts beating him with a sjambok. 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