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COVID-19 pandemic: Police top brass gambles with members’ lives

Maj. Gen. Rampota, of the Gauteng Provincial Police Office, today demanded that police stations refuse to accept hand sanitiser from AfriForum and that police stations that have already been given sanitiser, should return it. This follows after AfriForum donated 5 000 bottles of hand sanitiser to police units in Gauteng this past week to help protect police officers from contracting COVID-19 while carrying out their duties.

Despite appeals for help by officers at these stations, the police’s provincial management persisted in their refusal of the hand sanitiser.

“It is primarily the government’s responsibility to protect police officers, who find themselves in the front lines of this crisis, against contracting the virus. Very few police stations have received adequate equipment such as masks, gloves and hand sanitiser up to now. It is therefore immoral and extremely irresponsible of senior police officials to endanger the lives and health of police officers by refusing our bona fide help,” says Ian Cameron, AfriForum’s Head of Community Safety.

According to Cameron, AfriForum’s objective with the donation is to assist the police against getting the virus while on duty. Using hand sanitiser could also mean that police officers will have a reduced risk of being infected by colleagues who could already have the virus but are unaware of it.

“The virus has the potential to put a whole police station out of action – and that’s something we can’t afford,” says Cameron.

AfriForum delivered hand sanitiser to police stations in the south of Gauteng, the West Rand, East Rand and Pretoria.

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