'Police need more psychological support'

The DA has called for the establishment of a special parliamentary inquiry into police brutality.

DA Shadow Minister of Police Dianne Kohler Barnard.

CAPE TOWN - The Democratic Alliance (DA) in parliament says police officers don't always receive the psychological support they need before being deployed to deal with volatile crowds.

At least eight people were killed last month allegedly by police during violent protests.

The party says the militarisation of the police, inadequate training and psychological support are some of the issues that lead to violence within the police force.

It is calling for the establishment of a special parliamentary inquiry into police brutality.

DA Shadow Minister of Police Dianne Kohler Barnard says the lack of mandatory psychological debriefings has damaged the police.

"It isn't mandatory, so you have the macho issue ruling and the fear that if they do go for a debriefing it will damage their future career."

Two people were shot dead in the Relela village outside Tzaneen earlier this week by officers during a violent protest.

The recent murder of a woman in the area and the subsequent death of a teenage boy in a protest sparked the latest confrontation.

Tshepo Babuseng was shot in the chest around two weeks ago during a protest in Durban Deep allegedly by officer Malusi Maila.

Meanwhile, at least four men died during service delivery protests in Mothutlung in the North West last month.

Residents were calling for the resignation of Mayor Poppy Magongwa and a number of others in the municipality's leadership structure to step down, claiming officials were involved in a corruption scandal which resulted in water cuts in the area.

Magongwa has since resigned from her post.