Media Release: Attacking Police is an attack on Community and Constitution
Provincial Minister of Community Safety, Alan Winde strongly condemns the attack on the Vredenburg police station that occurred yesterday.
Minister Winde said: “It is completely unacceptable that protestors attack the police. All citizens have the right to protest, but it must be done within the ambit of the law to prevent harm to others. Unlawful attacks on the police are an attack on the whole community, and on the country’s Constitution.”
It is reported that while participating in a service delivery protest, community members of the informal settlement, Ongegund, stoned the local police station. Ten police vehicles were damaged, while some roads were also blocked off with burning tyres.
“We need to identify alternative mechanisms to address our various grievances and steer clear of using violence as a method to raise issues. This goes both ways - dialogue between government and its citizens needs to be improved. A violent approach to raising issues has knock on effects for the whole community. State funded infrastructure, including police infrastructure, is there to advance all community members. By destroying it, we are denying law abiding citizens the right to its benefits,” said Minister Winde.
Our police are already under pressure, with 85% of all police stations in the province being understaffed and under resourced. These attacks contribute to the exacerbation of crime, as the police will find it more difficult to respond to a crime in this area.
“The police have managed to make swift arrests of the violent protesters who violated the law. It is incumbent on the community to report all the outstanding transgressors to the police, so that they can be held accountable for the damage they have caused to their fellow residents,” said Minister Winde.