The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) revealed that since March 26 to April 2, 163 cases have been reported against the Western Cape police. Of these cases, 83 were directly linked to lockdown operations.

Speaking at a briefing on police, security and police brutality in the Covid-19 oversight committee in the Western Cape legislature on Wednesday May 6, IPID’s Western Cape head, Thabo Leholo said that these cases relate to:

– Two deaths as a result of police action: the death of Petrus Miggels from Uitsig, Cape Town who was allegedly beaten up by police for purchasing alcohol on the first day of lockdown, and passed away from sustained injuries soon after. The other refers to the accidental shooting of a protestor as police fired warning shots to disperse a protest crowd. An investigation is underway

– 52 cases of assault

– 30 cases of police discharging their firearms.

According to Leholo, reports from the public claim that some Western Cape police have used weapons such as sjamboks, hammers and irons to assault people.

Provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Yolisa Matakata responded to these claims, saying the cases and matters raised will be investigated. Matakata also said the police have received complaints via social media, traditional media and other policing structures.

“I remind the members what kind of situation we are dealing with at this point in time and what kind of behaviour is expected of them,” Matakata said.

Brigadier Preston Voskuil, head of Organisational Development and Strategic Management reported that the police have also issued reports for the public, including lack of cooperation and adherence to rules by communities as well as fake news over food parcel deliveries.

“We remain resilient, we will continue to be at the forefront of fighting this pandemic and protecting our people and we will ensure that policing services continue to be provided,” said Voskuil.

Picture: Facebook / SAPS

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