Phahlane refutes claims Saps is targeting #Fees2017 protest leaders

Khomotso Phahlane referred specifically to the arrest of student leader Mcebo Dlamini.

Acting National Police Commissioner Khomotso Phahlane listens to questions during an update on the #Fees2017 protests in Pretoria on 10 October 2016. Picture: Reinart Toerien

JOHANNESBURG - Acting National Police Commissioner Khomotso Phahlane says there is no truth to allegations that police are specifically targeting student leaders to destabilise the Fees Must Fall protests.

Phahlane specifically referred to the arrest of student leader and former Wits Student Representative Council President Mcebo Dlamini, yesterday morning.

Dlamini appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrates court this morning, where his case was postponed until tomorrow.

He has been remanded in custody at the Cleveland police station.

Phahlane says 567 people have been arrested to date, in 265 cases involving Fees Must Fall protests.

He says the arrests were made since early February.

The acting national commissioner says the allegations that police are targeting student leaders to destabilise the fees must fall protests, are not true.

"The role of the police is to prevent, investigate and combat crime, and to maintain stability."

He says they have no problem with Dlamini being a leader, unless he breaks the law.

"Being in a leadership position is not a crime, but when people get involved in criminal activities you invite the police."

Dlamini's case was postponed until tomorrow at the Johannesburg Magistrates Court, and he remains in custody at the Cleveland police station.