Johannesburg, 04 July 2023 – Sonke Gender Justice is gravely concerned by the rampant use and abuse of guns by South African law enforcement officials. This follows the surfacing of a video of the South African Police Service’s VIP Protection Unit assaulting motorists while brandishing guns on a Johannesburg highway. In another recent incident, a Johannesburg Metro Police Department officer was allegedly shot by a police officer during an altercation in Braamfontein last week. Unfortunately, these two incidents indicate failure of law enforcement officials to refrain from using excessive force, all this in a country that already has high levels of violence.
The recent crime Statistics as released by the South African Police Services reported a rise in violent crimes particularly murder, assault, and robbery. ‘’It is distressing that those who are supposed to uphold the law are instead committing and propagating violent crimes themselves. It is obvious that policing in this country has to be overhauled,’’ says Bafana Khumalo, Co-Executive Director of Sonke Gender Justice and Co-Chairperson of the Global MenEngage Alliance.
Police have confirmed they are investigating assault charges against the police officers and tracing the victims to get statements on the matter. The IPID has also started an investigation on the incidence as per their mandate.
‘’Sonke demands that the current investigations be expedited and undertaken judiciously and transparently to ensure that those responsible for this brute force are held accountable including personal liability for their reckless action. It is the duty of governments to ensure that the abusive use of force and guns by law enforcement officers is prosecuted as a crime. We cannot have law enforcement agents that portray violence instead of Sonke hopes that the investigations by all concerned will be undertaken judiciously and transparently to ensure that those responsible for this brute force are held accountable including personal liability for their reckless action enforcing the rule of law,” adds Bafana Khumalo.
For media enquiries contact:
Kgomotso Mophulane, Communications & Strategic Information Manager, Sonke Gender Justice on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0835196187.
Bafana Khumalo, Co-Executive Director, Sonke Gender Justice and Co-Chairperson, Global MenEngage Alliance: email@example.com or 0825784479.
NOTE TO EDITORS
Sonke is a South African-based non-profit organisation working throughout Africa. We believe women and men, girls and boys can work together to resist patriarchy, advocate for gender justice, and achieve gender transformation. For media releases, reports and news visit https://genderjustice.org.za/ and https://genderjustice.org.za/newsletter-signup/