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Be Smart About South Africa

Concerns Raised On Govt’s ‘Over-reliance’ On Security Agencies During Lockdown

An SANDF soldier and a police officer check on a member of the public during the lockdown in Woodstock, Cape Town on 27 March 2020. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Concerns have been raised about government’s over-reliance on security agencies to force South Africans to comply with the lockdown regulations.

At least three people have been killed, allegedly at the hands of the authorities since the lockdown started.

The Farlam commission of inquiry into the Marikana Massacre in 2012 highlighted several challenges faced by the South African Police Service, including poor leadership, which resulted in police shooting and killing 34 protesting miners.

Government has also now called on the military to assist police during the lockdown.

But independent policing researcher David Bruce said we can’t expect the same kind of compliance as we’ve seen in China, which is an authoritarian state.

“The military are generally not involved in any type of public order role of any kind and so, there is a question that needs to be asked about whether government has misjudged its ability to implement its lockdown by relying on security agencies and whether it shouldn’t be relying more on a type of public mobilisation.”

For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.

EWN

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