NEWS & ANALYSIS

Nathi Mthethwa calls for calm in Brits

Police minister reiterated that there is no culture of impunity within the SAPS, and IPID is investigating

MINISTER MTHETHWA CALLS FOR CALM IN BRITS

PRETORIA - 14 January 2014.  The Minister of Police, Nathi Mthethwa has called for calm and respect for the rule of law in Brits, North West where violent protests took place.  The violent protests resulted in the death of two people yesterday, allegedly shot by police and the matter is being investigated by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID).

"We want to reiterate the point that the public have Constitutional rights to protest and raise whatever issues they may be discontent with.  These very rights do not imply that people must be violent, destroy property, attack police and intimidate others.  However, as we have seen on many occasions, many protests have been accompanied by serious provocations, intimidations, public violence and even elements of criminality," he stated.

Minister Mthethwa reiterated that there is no culture of impunity within the SAPS.  He added that an institution that polices the police, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate is currently investigating what transpired yesterday. 

"We therefore urge the public to afford IPID time to conduct its investigation but to also come forward, provide IPID with any information or evidence so that at the end of the process, we can determine who did what and why?  We can assure the public that if any official is found guilty, they will face the consequences.  For now none of us should pre-empt or pre-judge the matter before it is concluded."

The Deputy Minister of Police, Ms Makhotso Sotyu will Brits this morning, where she will get a briefing about the policing situation in the area including what led to the clashes between the police and protesters.  The Deputy Minister, accompanied by the SAPS North West Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Zukiswa Mbombo will also visit the families of the deceased.

Statement issued by Zweli Mnisi, Spokesperson to the Minister of Police, January 14 2014

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