In the wake of widespread abuse of civilians allegedly at the hands of police and soldiers, deployed to ensure South Africans comply with 2‑day COVID-19 lockdown rules, Democratic Alliance (DA) says it has set up a platform to address concerns.
In a statement on Wednesday, DA Leader, John Steenhuisen claimed the initiative will help the community to report any acts of aggression, abuse or bribe by law enforcement officers.
“Today [Wednesday] DA is launching a dedicated WhatsApp number (067 977 9324) and email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) where citizens can report any acts of onslaught, abuse or bribe by law enforcement officers,” said Steenhuisen.
He said upon receiving complaints from the community, DA will provide advice about their rights and lodge grievances with the relevant authorities and oversight bodies.
Steenhuisen slammed law enforcement officers, stating that only six days into a lockdown, South Africans are already experiencing widespread violence at the hands of those tasks to protect and serve citizens.
Reports on Tuesday alleges that police shot two nurses at the Bongani Regional Hospital in Welkom, while Ekurhuleni Metro police officer was on Monday arrested allegedly for shooting and killing a Vosloorus man while enforcing the lockdown.
“In order to protect themselves, the community can WhatsApp or email their questions to DA regarding their legal rights during the Covid-19 lockdown,” said Steenhuisen.
DA Members of Parliament’s task team also part of the security and justice clusters in Parliament will offer expert advice while also monitoring messages.
“We are seeing numerous videos on social media showing police and army officers brutalising and humiliating members of the public. Some assaulting people in their backyards or while standing in queues to buy essential items at shops and Malls,” added Steenhuisen.