‘SAPS DNA hasn't changed’

Zackie Achmat says the SAPS has a history of cruelty and brutality.

Activist Zackie Achmat. Picture: Zackie Achmat Facebook page

CAPE TOWN - Veteran activist Zackie Achmat says the DNA of the South African Police Service (SAPS) has not changed since apartheid.

Achmat, a vocal critic of the police, addressed the Cape Town Press Club on Wednesday.

He spoke about the Marikana tragedy, the controversy surrounding National Police Chief Riah Phiyega and the Commission of Inquiry into police inefficiency in Khayelitsha.

Achmat says the SAPS have a history of cruelty and brutality.

"When the old police force entered the transitional period it's DNA did not change. Yes most of the white police from the top are probably gone, but every black homeland official who was in the police service either managed to get a promotion or are still there."

He says the problems in the police service begins at the very top.

"It is a criminal hornet's nest and infighting of different self-interests, the abuse of the police for political and party reasons."

He has bemoaned the culture of brutality and the lack of strong leadership in the service.