Top cop briefs MPs on police behaviour during #FeesMustFall

The acting police commissioner is briefing Parliamentarians on their handling of student protests.

FILE: Fees Must Fall Portesters clash with police at Parliament. Picture: Anthony Molyneux/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Acting National Police Commissioner Khomotso Phahlane says his officers used maximum restraint while "under siege" during the recent spate of student protests.

Phahlane and senior Saps officials are briefing MPs on their handling of the protests over rising university tuition fees, which began at Wits on 14 October and rapidly spread to campuses across the country.

Demonstrators demanded the attention of government by marching on Parliament and the Union Buildings at the height of the protests.

WATCH: Violence erupts between police & protesters outside Parliament

President Jacob Zuma announced a freeze on fee increases for 2016, nearly two weeks ago, but protests at some universities continued for several more days as students demanded an end to the outsourcing of workers at their respective campuses.

WATCH: The day fees 'fell'

Phahlane has applauded his officers for their handling of the, at times, chaotic protests, some of which were marked by looting and vandalism.

"When the students embarked on the hashtag #FeesMustFall, we embarked on the hashtag #MaximumRestraint."

The acting head of the police watchdog Ipid Israel Kgamanyane, says a total of 17 complaints were lodged against police in the Eastern Cape, North West, Gauteng, Western Cape and the Free State.

"The only cases that are there is the assaults and the discharge of official firearms."

Kgamanaye says police did not use live ammunition against protesters.

He too has commended Saps members for their handling of the demonstrations, adding it can be seen as an indication that public order police officers are receiving better training.