Police abuse can NOT per permitted during COVID-19 or at any time.
Law Enforcement Incompetence & Brutality Not A New Thing
Dewa Mavhinga, southern Africa director at Human Rights Watch. said “The government should remind security forces that a public emergency does not change the prohibition on police abuse, and that monitoring will be in place to detect and punish such abuse, as well as abuses against women and girls.”
The incompetence and brutality of our Police is not a new thing – as there are thousands of civil suits against the Minister of Police on a yearly basis, resulting from incompetence and/or brutality.
Members of the public often institute claims for unlawful arrests; unlawful detention; claims for being subjected to brutality and ill treatment, etc. One can reasonably postulate that there will be a rapid rise in claims of this nature as well as claims against the Minister of Defence Force post COVID-19 lockdown.
Not only do the police fail to execute their duties as mandated by the law, they also commit crimes themselves. It was reported during the weekend that IPID has released statistics of the police's non-compliance during the lockdown recording assaults; illegal discharge of a firearm; deaths in police custody and also the unwarranted deaths due to police action.
The statistics are alarming and many articles and videos have made there way to social media that paints a clear picture of the gross incompetence and brutality by the SAPS.
The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, protects the peoples' rights to bodily security. From the preamble to the objectives, purpose and spirit of the Constitution, dignity, fair treatment, security, amongst others, are of great importance.
The Constitutional Bill of Rights affords people rights to, inter alia, dignity, equality, right to life; freedom and security of the body, etc. Implied in our Constitution, as our courts have often held, is the right of Ubuntu – "I am because we are". To safeguard these rights, the Constitution in terms of Section 200(2) forms and mandates the SANDF to defend and protect the Republic, its territorial integrity and its people in accordance with the Constitution and the principles of international law regulating use of force. Further, the Constitution forms and mandates the Police Services to prevent, combat and investigate crime, to maintain public order, to protect and secure the inhabitants of the Republic.
There are various legislations which promote and protect the security of persons, including the Criminal Procedure Act. When people breach the lockdown regulations, they are committing a crime and they should be arrested, accordingly. However, as per the said Act, excessive force should not be used unless there is a need to do so and, even then, force should be reasonable and proportionate.
The have been thousands of court cases stipulating how Police and law enforcement officers need to conduct themselves. In all the relevant cases, constitutional rights (as depicted above) have been prioritised; polices' behavior has been severely reprimanded.
When the law enforcement officers subject people to inhumane treatment and physically abusing them, they do not only risk leaving them disabled, they risk also taking their lives. The gravity of right to life is well explicated in the infamous case of Makwanyane.
READ MORE INFORMATION - CLICK HERE
So contact us today and our experienced team of attorneys will be here to assist you.
CLICK HERE TO SUE THE COPS