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1999

UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

MEDIA RELEASE

POLICE STRESS AND BRUTALITY IS A DIRECT RESULT OF BAD MANAGEMENT BY THE MINISTER

STATEMENT ISSUED BY ANNELIZÉ VAN WYK as ACTING NATIONAL SECRETARY

The UDM condemns the brutal behaviour of the policemen captured on film by the BBC. However, we unreservedly recognise the stress under which our police men and women have to operate. The UDM believes this is a damning indictment of the Minister’s management of the Police Service.

The UDM is concerned that the last time the top management of the Police Service has taken note of the morale of its members was in October 1996. This took place in the form of a scientific report as well as a supplementary report on the ‘internal climate’ of the Police Service. These reports were completed in March 1997 and August 1997 respectively and indicated extremely low morale. Contrary to past claims (i.e. that the police morale is not in dire straits) no comprehensive scientific study has been conducted since 1996 to determine the real stress levels in the Police Service.

One could very well argue that the SAPS-linked brutality would not have been all over international television in 1999, if the Minister had acted on the Police Service reports in 1997.

The UDM interprets this behaviour by Minister as irresponsible and negligent. This careless behaviour flies in the face of government claims to be serious about crime, since government is clearly not sensitive to the needs of their own crime-fighting employees.

Enquiries:
Ms Annelizé van Wyk
Acting National Secretary

28 April, 1999

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