South African Police Service should Work with Medics, not Against them
Following media reports and a video posted online this morning of two South African Police Service (SAPS) officers allegedly manhandling a medic at an accident scene earlier this week, I have written to Western Cape Provincial Commissioner, General Lamoer, requesting an urgent investigation into the matter.
As part of my oversight role, I am required to monitor police conduct and among other duties enshrined in the constitution, promote good relations between the police and the community. The conduct of the two SAPS officers in the report raises serious questions about those officers’ ability to manage an accident scene, and suggests that they do not have a good relationship with the local community after arresting what appears to be a man only willing to help, in a legitimate capacity, in a very serious situation.
It is only through co-operation that we can deliver the best service to the community and these police officers should receive more training on firstly, how to secure an accident scene, and two, to accept help from those who are in a position to give it.
I have also asked my department to look into this incident as a matter of urgency. We need to foster a good working relationship between SAPS and the community and we cannot allow one or two individuals to damage this very necessary relationship.
I will also be speaking to the Western Cape Minister of Health, Theuns Botha to find out if this is an isolated incident, and if not, how best to go about addressing the matter.
Spokesperson for Minister Dan Plato
Cell: 072 623 4499