ISS: Mbalula’s Marikana comments a way to garner support for police
Police Minister Fikile Mbalula warned protesters not to damage property because he doesn’t want to see a repeat of the Marikana massacre.
PRETORIA - The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) says Police Minister Fikile Mbalula's controversial comments about Marikana suggests he’s trying to drum up support from the police and the public as their new minister.
Mbalula was speaking at a welcome parade at the SAPS Training College in Pretoria on Tuesday, where he warned protesters not to damage property, because he doesn’t want to see a repeat of the Marikana massacre.
Thirty-four protesting mineworkers were shot and killed near the Rustenburg mine in 2012. The Farlam Commission made numerous adverse findings against the police for their conduct in the incident.
Between telling the police to act mercilessly against criminals and that they were not to worry about the Human Rights Commission, Minister Mbalula had a warning for violent protesters.
“I don’t want another Marikana here. Our people must understand that protesting does not mean destroying property of the democratic state.”
The ISS’ Gareth Newham suggests Mbalula’s comments are mere bluster.
“When you have a new political operational leader, they make these inflammatory sounding statements in order to garner support from the police and the public.”
Newham says politicians must be mindful not to tell the police to act outside of the law.
WATCH: New police minister declares war on crime
(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)