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Press Statement: FARLAM requests SAHRC to send report advising on handling violent protests to the police


24 January 2013

ATTENTION: Editors and Reporters

The South African Human Rights Commission has complied with the request by Judge Ian Farlam to share the report into the death of Free State activist, Andries Tatane with the police responsible for handling violent protests.

On Tuesday 22 January 2013 Judge Farlam, Chairperson of the Marikana Commission of Inquiry, requested, as a matter of urgency, the SAHRC Report on our investigation into the death of Andries Tatane to be sent to all Public Order Police (POP) and other police operations in the Free State. The SAHRC has indeed sent the report as per this request on Wednesday.

The request was issued by Judge Farlam in the midst of the SAHRC’s cross-examination of Brigadier Makhwanazi, after the Brigadier admitted to not having read or having distributed the Report to POP members.   

In the Report, the SAHRC found that the South African Police Service (SAPS) used a degree of force that was disproportionate, that members of the SAPS were not equipped to quell the riot and failed to devise a plan and that the SAPS failed to ensure that adequate numbers of police officials were deployed.

The Report contains a number of recommendations for police, including that training must be improved and that the police need to actively engage with communities where there are high incidents of violent protests.

The SAHRC has submitted the Report and other relevant reports to the SAPS. The SAHRC is hopeful that police officials in the Free State will both consider and implement the recommendations, especially in the midst of the violent protests. The SAHRC calls on police all over the country to read the reports with a view to implementing the recommendations as a matter of urgency.

Issued by:
Isaac Mangena, SAHRC Head: Communications
0718848273
For Interviews, please contact details:
Kathleen Hardy, attorney, Centre for Applied Legal Studies Tel: 082 556 5196

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