DA: Police brutality a national crisis

At least 9 people have lost their lives due to alleged police brutality in January alone.

DA Parliamentary Leader Lindiwe Mazibuko. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Parliament on Friday said police brutality has become a national crisis for the first time in almost two decades.

At least nine people have been killed during incidents allegedly linked to police brutality in January alone.

The opposition party says President Jacob Zuma's government is at the heart of the problem.

The DA's Dianne Kohler Barnard says, "It seems that the [South African Police Service] SAPS has lost credibility. We've seen the SAPS move back to an aggressive crowd management style that was common during the apartheid era."

The DA is calling for the establishment of a special parliamentary inquiry to identify the root problems and make recommendations to improve the situation.

DA Parliamentary Leader Lindiwe Mazibuko says the use of military ranks in the police service is a clear problem.

"The National Development Plan makes it very clear that military ranks in the police service need to be abolished. Both the president and the minister have ignored this completely."

National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega on Thursday officially opened the first police university in Paarl.

She said they hope the institution will produce officers who will be able to fight crime and protect the public.