Media Release: Winde calls for calm following deaths at Caledon protests
I am angered by reports of 2 deaths and 1 injury as a result of protest action which took place in Caledon this morning. My thoughts are with the families of the victims in this devastating time.
It is alleged that there are political parties who are at the forefront of these protests. These parties are willing to put lives on the line to advance their agendas. I see from video footage that these instigators are using children. We all have a right to protest and have processes to have our voices heard. Illegal action such as this puts the community and SAPS in direct confrontation. It also takes rights away from law-abiding citizens and has a huge effect on jobs.
It is imperative that the instigators of the action are brought to book, and I implore the SAPS to put every effort into making sure these heartless thugs land up in handcuffs. We also expect that IPID will investigate this matter.
Our politics has become so dirty and degraded so as to cost lives. Humans are being used as cannon fodder to get seats in parliament, and this must stop. Through the police, and through society, we need to send a clear signal that this will not be tolerated.
I would also implore the National Police Minister, Bheki Cele, to ensure that plans are in place to deal with unrest actions which could swiftly become out of control, particularly as we head into the last stages before the election. Now is the time for cool heads and rational debate on the real issues affecting people, not violence and instigations.
Separately, I am outraged by correspondence received from police management late yesterday in which they have refused to share the details of protest actions since 1 January, as well as whether arrests have been made in these cases, and if the police have a plan to deal with future incidences.
The law dictates that information must be shared with my office upon request.
Cele has repeatedly shown that he is uncooperative in his relations with the province, despite being legally obliged to work with us as per the Constitution. We need a professional police service managed at provincial level, which is open and accountable.
Crime and crime fighting cannot be a black box if we are to deal with it effectively in the pursuit of a safer province. Communities have a right to feel and be safe.