PSC warns against ill-treatment of citizens by law enforcement, health workers

The commission has presented its quarterly bulletin for January to March.

FILE: The SANDF took to the streets of Alexandra encouraging residents of the township to stay indoors. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - The Public Service Commission (PSC) has warned that the ill-treatment of citizens by law enforcement and health care workers during the lockdown could cost government in litigation.

The commission has on Wednesday presented its quarterly bulletin for January to March.

It said during that period, it received more than 800 grievances of nonpayment of services, corruption and sexual harassment.

PIC commissioner Michael Seloane said while the focus was on health for the COVID-19 pandemic period, citizens were entitled to and must continue to hold public officials at all levels to account.

“The PSC is concerned by incidents of ill-treatment by law enforcement officials and some of the health care workers behaviour during the lockdown.”

At least one family of Collins Khosa of Alexandra who died after allegedly being beaten by South African National Defence Force officials is already going to court to sue the defence force.

And Seloane said more may be coming: “Such incidents have demonstrated how ethics can be lost when interacting with citizens and are likely to result in litigation against government at a huge cost.”

He said human dignity and professional ethics should always guide the behaviour of government officials when they deliver services.

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