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Phahlane lauds police officers' action during #FeesMustFall

He says he is aware of public criticism of the police’s actions during #FeesMustFall protests.

ees 2017 protesters climb on top of the police Nyala on their way to Parliament. Picture: Anthony Molyneaux/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Acting National Police Commissioner Khomotso Phahlane has lauded police officers' actions during #FeesMustFall protests.

He has defended South African Police Service (Saps) officers who some campaigners have accused of using excessive and unnecessary force.

Phahlane briefed the media yesterday on policing and security measures implemented by the Saps on university campuses.

He said he is aware of public criticism of the police's actions during #FeesMustFall protests.

The acting commissioner says it's a shame that police have been targeted by some protestors.

Phahlane has stressed officers are trained to respond with minimum force while in high-pressure situations as was the case near Parliament on Wednesday.

He said they respond within the confines of the law and has called on anyone who has felt violated by police during protests to report the matter so that it can be investigated immediately.

Phahlane claims he has not received any cases of this nature.

PHAHLANE QUERIES FEES PROTESTS CAMPAIGN

Phahlane has queried whether the #FeesMustFall campaign may have been taken over by criminals.

The Lieutenant General said given the violence that's characterised recent Fees Must Fall protests, he wonders whether the movement has been hijacked by criminals.

He told reporters three men who were accused of burgling an Eastern Cape University last Friday were stoned and beaten with sticks, reportedly by students.

Two of the men died; the third remains in a critical condition in hospital.

Phahlane said since the start of February, 831 protesters have been arrested during Fees Must Fall and related demonstrations.

Three-hundred-and-four of the arrests were made over the past three weeks.

Phahlane said police early today arrested the man who was photographed smashing the window of a police vehicle during Wednesday's protests near Parliament.

The man is a cleaner at a Cape Town university.

WATCH: #Fees2017: Violence erupts in Cape Town's CBD