The Constitution of South Africa clearly states that the South African Police Service (SAPS) has a responsibility to prevent, combat and investigate crime, maintain public order, protect and secure the inhabitants of the Republic and their property, uphold and enforce the law, create a safe and secure environment for all people in South Africa, prevent anything that may threaten the safety or security of any community, investigate any crimes that threaten the safety or security of any community, ensure criminals are brought to justice and participate in efforts to address the causes of crime.
During apartheid some of the most undisputed instances of police brutality were the killings of demonstrators involved in peaceful protests.Do you still remember Marikana? Many striking miners were brutally killed by the SAPS. How different is the Marikana massacre police brutality from the Sharpeville apartheid police brutality?
Policemen keep watch over striking miners after they were shot outside Lonmin’s Marikana mine 1 on August 16, 2012. Picture: Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko
The Sharpeville massacre on 21 March, 1960.
The Majority of the member of the SAPS fail to uphold their responsibilities and have become the enemy of thousands of community members around South Africa. Many members of the community are victims of brutality and humiliation by the “protectors” of that were appointed by the government.
Majority of the members of SAPS are armed and may lawfully to use their weapon under circumstances whereby they feel threatened or in defense. But what do our police do ? They shoot at any person , because they think they have the weapon and will use it whenever they feel underestimated or being disrespected or maybe it depends on their mood.
Allow me to share with you my experience with the police. A few weeks ago, I was mistreated by four armed police members.While we were walking they approached my partner and I in a very intimidating manner. They searched my partner and they found nothing. They could not search me , because I am a woman; they did however search my bag and found nothing.
I started crying and shaking , because I have hoplophobia. They were pointing their guns at us like we are the mosted wanted criminals in SA. I couldn’t stop crying and shaking. One of them said I am crying because I am hiding something. The guns were still pointing at us and I feared that if I show them attitude I might never have a chance to blog and see my family and friends ever again, because I know how brutal they can be. I tried to stop crying , but I couldn’t stop shaking. They said that the are taking me to the police station to search me. My partner refused for them to take me. After 101 questions they let us go. I am still traumatised by the experience and that made me question the purpose of the police today. Do I even have rights against them?
The police in South Africa today, rape, harass,humiliate and kill members of the community yet they are the ones who are responsible for creating a safe and secure environment for us. .