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Researcher casts doubt on SAPS management's ability to apply policing reforms

Independent police researcher David Bruce served on a panel of experts that put together a report on policing and crowd control following an inquiry into the Marikana Massacre.

A large group of South African Police Service (SAPS) officers disperse a group of students who were blocking roads during a protest in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, on 10 March 2021. Picture: Emmanuel Croset/AFP

CAPE TOWN - An independent police researcher on Monday said that he was not confident that the South African Police Service (SAPS) would implement public policing reforms.

David Bruce served on a panel of experts that put together a report on policing and crowd control following an inquiry into the Marikana Massacre.

Police Minister Bheki Cele released the panel’s report at a press conference on Monday.

Bruce was not optimistic that police will be able to implement recommendations on policing and crowd control.

READ: Govt has paid R176m so far to families of murdered Marikana miners - Cele

He said that the panel he was part of completed its report three years ago: "Unfortunately, I have to say no. This report has already been in the hands of the minister of police for close to three years and there hasn’t been, as far as I’m aware, any systemic engagement with the report."

ALSO READ: Police won't stop using rubber bullets but review on protest use coming - Sitole

Cele said that the use of rubber bullets was also raised sharply by the members of the expert panel.

He said police would be reviewing the use of rubber bullets and issuing new standards.

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