2000

UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

MEDIA RELEASE


POLICE BRUTALITY; BARBARIC

STATEMENT ISSUED BY ANNELIZÉ VAN WYK, MP
UDM SPOKESPERSON FOR SAFETY AND SECURITY

The footage shown on SABC TV of the barbaric, racist and inhuman actions of  members of the SAPS Dog Unit is shocking and sickens one to the core of your  soul.  Such actions by an irresponsible minority of SAPS members endanger  the lives of the majority of Police personnel who are committed to serve all South Africans to the best of their ability and under very trying circumstances.

The actions of those SAPS members involved smacks of racism, anti-human rights sentiments and a total lack of respect for life.  This incident is a  huge step backwards for the image and credibility of the SAPS, which the  majority of loyal members worked hard to restore within the communities they  serve.  Without the trust, cooperation and the support of the community the  SAPS will also be less successful in fighting crime.  The partnership  between the SAPS and the community suffered a heavy blow because one of the partners broke the fragile trust that existed.  Consequently, perpetrators of crimes like these also put in danger the lives of fellow SAPS members.

The UDM congratulates the Minister and the Commissioner with the swift action that was taken in this regard.

 1. We call on the Minister to seriously consider requesting the Minister of Justice to speed up the prosecution and conviction of the perpetrators of this heinous act.  They have walked free for more than 2 years - another day without justice is a day too much.

2. To investigate the current unsatisfactory situation where suspended  members of the SAPS still enjoy the full benefits of members of the SAPS. Although, we support the notion of innocent until proven guilty, it might be  time to consider a way of forcing those who are found guilty to pay back the income that they have earned while being suspended.

3. Ask Minister Steve Tshwete to do a proper independent evaluation of the  state of race relations in the SAPS.  A proper programme addressing these problems and transformation within the SAPS must be implemented as a matter of urgency.

SAPS members that know of fellow members who are guilty of similar crimes  and corruption must come out and make it known.  There is no place in the SAPS for members who do not value and respect the role they play and the people they serve.

Enquiries:
Annelizé van Wyk, MP
UDM Spokesperson for Safety and Security

Cape Town
8 November 2000