IPID should investigate SAPS following Chatsworth community protest – DA KZN

Rishigen Viranna says police officers allegedly used excessive force, including use of rubber bullets

DA calls on IPID to investigate SAPS conduct following Chatsworth community protest

30 May 2018

The Democratic Alliance in KwaZulu-Natal has written to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) to conduct a probe into claims that police officers used excessive force, including the use of rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse members of the Chatsworth community after a nine-year old girl was shot and killed in Shallcross on Monday.

The incident, which took place on Monday evening after community members protested outside the police station, comes amid further claims that some 20 people arrested on the scene were assaulted by police while being kept in jail cells.

The DA is deeply saddened by the untimely death of Sadia Sukhraj, who was the victim of a botched hijacking outside her school. We extend our sincere condolences to her family and friends at this very difficult time.

We also sympathise with the community and we understand their anger. Reports of SAPS members reacting badly against what was apparently a largely peaceful crowd, including women and children, are extremely alarming.

It is clear from Monday’s tragic incident that government needs to do more to prevent innocent people from dying at the hands of criminals, especially the youth, as we mark Child Protection Week.

Yet, during a meeting held earlier today KZN Community Safety MEC, Mxolisi Kaunda, tried to play politics by not allowing DA representatives from the provincial Legislature or DA Ward Councillor, Sharron Hoosen, to present a list of potential solutions which include:

- The reintroduction of specialised units within SAPS, including the anti-hijacking unit. This is the only way to crack the syndicates currently operating in our province;

- The provision of a satellite police station for the Shallcross community so that there is an increased police presence in the area;

- The provision of properly trained officers and sufficient vehicles and other critical resources for this station;

- More visible policing in hot-spot areas including schools;

- The empowerment of local Community Policing Forums so that they can assist in the fight against the scourge of violent crime; and

- A proper, fully functional Crime Intelligence Division. The prevention of crimes such as hijacking is far better dealt with before it happens.

The death of Sadia Sukhraj during Child Protection Week is an indictment against law enforcement agencies in our province. The DA expects the MEC, as well as National SAPS political and operational management, to take heed of the DA’s solutions in the interests of the Shallcross and other communities.

The safety of our people and our children in particular must be prioritised.

Issued by Rishigen VirannaDA KZN Spokesperson on Community Safety and Liaison, 30 May 2018