Police Brutality: "Govt must take responsibility"

R2K has added its voice to the growing concern over incidents of police brutality.

FILE: A generic picture of an unidentified member of the South African Police Service. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - The Right2Know Campaign (R2K) has added its voice to the growing concern over recent incidents of police brutality in the country, particularly during service delivery protests.

The lobby group took to the streets of the Johannesburg CBD yesterday and demonstrated over police misconduct.

R2K spokesperson Dale McKinley says government needs to take responsibility.

"The police are violating our own laws and the politicians themselves really need to start taking responsibility here. It seems like they [government] are sitting on the side-lines and criticising the police but they are ultimately responsible."

At least eight protesters were killed last month allegedly by police during demonstrations in the North West, Limpopo and Gauteng.

Earlier this week, President Jacob Zuma expressed concern about the recent spate of violent and deadly service delivery protests in South Africa.

Last week, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa and National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega issued the same call for peace.

They admitted that policing needed to change in order to prevent further allegations of brutality, saying police would need to engage better with the communities they work in.

But they also called on the public to follow the constitutional laws on public gatherings, including the ban on any weapons at protests.

At the same time, the Democratic Alliance has called for the establishment of a special parliamentary inquiry into police brutality, as well as increased psychological support for officers.