AfriForum welcomed the announcement on 11 October that the Western Cape Police Ombudsman, ordered an investigation into the misconduct and abuse of power by the police in the Western Cape. Johan Brand, Ombudsman of the Western Cape Police, indicated that he ordered a full investigation after various complaints were filed against the Western Cape police.
This comes amidst various letters directed by AfriForum to the Western Cape Commissioner, Lt. Gen. Yolisa Matakata, on 24 July and 27 August respectively wherein the organisation requests reasons for the unnecessary forceful handling of members of the tourism industry during a peaceful protest. In its letter the organisation expressed its shock over the brutal and forceful handling of these members that took part in a peaceful demonstration in Cape Town. The SAPS sprayed protesters with a water cannon, and used tear gas and stun grenades to disperse them.
On 23 September AfriForum requested that the National Commissioner, Gen. Khehla Sitole, intervene after the organisation received a meaningless and extremely unsatisfactory answer from the Western Cape Provincial Commissioner.
“AfriForum welcomes Brand’s announcement. We call on the public to immediately report all cases of police irregularity and brutality to the Western Cape Ombudsman,” says Thomas van Dalen, AfriForum’s Training Manager for Community Safety.
Van Dalen further says that AfriForum still believes that there are good policemen but that they are influenced by the “rotten apples” among them. “The public is losing faith in the SAPS, because of the unwillingness of top management to confront the misconduct of police members,” he concludes.