Physical abuse of civilians by SANDF deplorable and disgusting

Deplorable behav­iour by the South African Nation­al Defence Force (SANDF) mem­bers laid bare in the videos that went viral on social media is dis­gust­ing.

In one of the inci­dents, a video  lets slip a mem­ber of the SANDF and a Metro police offi­cer stand­ing behind a cir­cle of a group men, giv­ing instruc­tions, kick­ing and forc­ing them to squat and do pushups.

Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa address­ing SANDF mem­bers at the Doornkop army base out­side Sowe­to ahead of deploy­ment for the sol­diers in South Africa’s 21-day nation­al lock­down told mem­bers that “This is not a moment for skop en don­der. This is not a moment for ski­et en don­der.” Pic Pic­ture: Kopano Tlape/GCIS

A man in cam­ou­flage uni­form and traf­fic offi­cer took advan­tage of the gath­er­ing, alleged­ly for not com­ply­ing with the Covid-19 lock­down guide­lines.

“This behav­iour is deplorable and dis­gust­ing. DA con­demns the inci­dents in the strongest terms”, DA Shad­ow Min­is­ter of Defence and Mil­i­tary Vet­er­ans, Kobus Marais said in a state­ment.

Upon view­ing the videos, said Marais the DA wrote to the Mil­i­tary Ombuds­man, Gen­er­al Vusi Mason­do, to request an inde­pen­dent inves­ti­ga­tion.

“The SANDF’s actions vio­late the mil­i­tary man­date and the Bill of Rights,” said Marais.

Marias said act­ing Chief of the Army, Major Gen­er­al M.J. De Goede con­firmed the mat­ter is under inves­ti­ga­tion.

“We trust that this inves­ti­ga­tion will be trans­par­ent and that the SANDF and police offi­cer involved will be account­able for their deplorable behav­iour,” said Marais.

While we agree that those who do not fol­low the lock­down reg­u­la­tions should face the con­se­quences for their actions, in accor­dance with the lock­down reg­u­la­tions, we con­demn any act which seeks to humil­i­ate and degrade cit­i­zens.

Marais said the DA has also writ­ten to the Min­is­ter of Defence, Nosivi­we Mapisa-Nqaku­la, about the deplorable behav­iour.

“South Africa is a con­sti­tu­tion­al democ­ra­cy, not a mil­i­tary state. Despite the coun­try being in an unprece­dent­ed peri­od in our demo­c­ra­t­ic his­to­ry, the Bill of Rights and we must adhere to our Con­sti­tu­tion to at all times,” added Marias.

Mean­while, the DA wel­comes the arrest of an Ekurhu­leni Metro Police offi­cer alleged­ly for killing of Sibu­siso Amos (40) of Vosloorus.

DA Shad­ow Min­is­ter of Police, Andrew Whit­field said Amos was alleged­ly shot and killed on Sun­day by EMPD offi­cer, and a sec­ond man, enforc­ing the Covid-19 lock­down.

“I will sub­mit an inci­dent report to the Inde­pen­dent Police Inves­tiga­tive Direc­torate (IPID) on all instances report­ed to me of exces­sive vio­lence and mis­con­duct at the hands of law enforce­ment offi­cials.

While police offi­cials have a man­date to enforce the lock­down reg­u­la­tions with­out fear or favour, the bla­tant dis­play of vio­lence, dis­re­gard of human rights and inci­dents of humil­i­a­tion is dis­grace­ful. This goes against the foun­da­tions of our Con­sti­tu­tion and the Bill of Rights,” said White­field.

He said the DA is call­ing for Par­lia­ment to set up an ad hoc com­mit­tee to per­form exec­u­tive over­sight and ensure pro­tec­tion of civ­il lib­er­ties dur­ing the lock­down, adding that these cas­es of vio­lence and abuse can­not go unabat­ed.



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President Cyril Ramaphosa GCIS.

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