Joemat-Pettersson denounces Ntumba’s unjustified slaying

The Chairperson of the Police Portfolio Committee, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, has condemned the unjustified, excessive violence by the police that led to the death of Mthokozisi Ntumba.

Police killed Ntumba when firing rubber bullets to disperse a group of protesters outside the University of the Witwatersrand, Braamfontein campus on Wednesday.

The student protest began in early January to demand that those who owe the university up to R150,000 can still register for the new academic year.

“While we do not want to pre-empt the investigation by the Independent Police Investigations Directorate, the murder of an innocent bystander is unacceptable and adds to the belief of excessive violence sometimes used by the police,” said Joemat-Pettersson.

The Committee have highlighted training of public order police and were explicit in the report inherited from the Police Portfolio Committee of the fifth Parliament.

The Farlam Commission also raised this matter.

As a result, the committee will seek a detailed report on implementing the Group of Experts’ recommendations made in that report about the training of police officers.

The Commission’s chairperson said while the constitution protects peaceful protests, police management needs to address unwarranted use of excessive force during protests.

Joemat-Pettersson called on the police to always exercise restraint in the face of public protests.

Joemat-Pettersson called for the prompt completion of the investigation into the incident to serve justice to Ntumba.

“I offer my sincere condolences to Ntumba’s family and friends for their loss,” Joemat-Pettersson said.

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