Last week, a report produced by the University of Johannesburg claimed that the police and leading figures in government were misrepresenting the number of protests SAPS deals with annually. The suggestion is that this is being done in order to bulk up the amount of money spent on public order policing. Police management deny the claims. By REBECCA DAVIS.
The SAPS has been indicating for some time that they intend to seriously beef up the police force’s public order policing capacities. In September 2014, SAPS top brass appeared before Parliament’s police committee and announced that the ongoing “upsurge against state authority” required urgent “additional interventions”.
Because they were dealing with so many more protests than previously, police chief Riah Phiyega asked Treasury for R3,3 billion over four years to almost double the number of riot police and procure more equipment like armoured vehicles and water cannons.
At the time, civil society activists expressed concern, pointing out that SAPS’ own figures showed that the overwhelming majority of protests in South Africa were peaceful.
Now, University of Johannesburg academics say that these figures are misleading anyway.
A report by the Social Change Research Unit’s Peter Alexander, Carin Runciman and Boitumelo Maruping has…
Source : Daily Maverick