Minister Fritz asks WCPO to investigate police inefficiencies during lockdown
Minister Fritz asks Western Cape Police Ombudsman to investigate police inefficiencies during lockdown
The Minister of Community Safety, Albert Fritz, has written to the Western Cape Police Ombudsman, Mr JJ Brand, requesting that he investigate allegations of police inefficiencies at Muizenberg and Steenberg SAPS stations during the lockdown.
This request has been made in terms of Section 17(2) of the Western Cape Community Safety Act (Act 3 of 2013) which states that “If a member of the Provincial Parliament refers a matter contemplated in subsection (1) to the Ombudsman, he or she must conduct an investigation into that matter.”
Amongst the incidents of police inefficiencies include the alleged threatening of an elderly woman, a pregnant woman and several Muizenberg residents at Muizenberg SAPS. An officer is quoted saying, "I hope you get the virus."
Minister Fritz said, “Of course, reports of police inefficiencies are not limited to Muizenberg SAPS alone and there are in fact frequently reported cases of police inefficiencies in our more vulnerable communities. It is unacceptable that SAPS should act so aggressively towards the residents that they are duty-bound to serve.”
On 23 April 2020, it was reported that a Lavender Hill mother was left bruised and humiliated after Steenberg police officers allegedly arrested, physically assaulted and spat in her face when she went to seek help at Steenberg SAPS station. It is alleged that she was thrown into a filthy holding cell and kept behind bars for hours after being told by cops to go and report an attempted burglary at the Steenberg Police Station.
Minister Fritz said, “I urge all members of the public who have experienced police inefficiencies at any police station in the province to immediately come forward and report such to the Western Cape Police Ombudsman. This can be done by calling 021 483 0669 or email email@example.com.”
Minister Fritz added, “We must always remember that every single person has a responsibility to help in “flattening the curve”. We need to abide by the law, and keep a distance at all times. You must stay home if you can, and you must avoid all gatherings, because this is how the virus spreads. If you are going out in public, please wear a cloth mask, but do it properly. This must always be done in conjunction with the five golden rules of good hygiene.”
For further clarity on the conditions of lockdown, please see the following FAQs: https://www.westerncape.gov.za/department-of-health/frequently-asked-questions
Please see English audio clip here: https://clyp.it/wqpg4en4