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2020-05-18 13: 30

Within the past 50 days of lockdown, these incidents (of police brutality) represent a exiguous portion of my private dealings with a variety of of diversified police. And their behaviour has told a vividly diversified anecdote.


The policeman grabbed the journalist’s nipple. Squeezed tough. And crooked painfully. The identical policeman elbowed one other journalist in the throat.  

It was Day 12 of the lockdown and the authorities had been correct beefing up.

Four days later, police had been pushing more limits.

A minister’s blue-gentle cavalcade sped from Paarl against Brackenfell on the N1 motorway.

It’s tough to inform the racing speeds they reached, because my Toyota Fortuner couldn’t withhold. At 168km/h, my diesel engine ran out of legs.

The collected murky BMWs accelerated away.

In Muizenberg, two men stood side-by side, in the 6am to 9am “explain window”, under Stage 4.

Every had been protesting the ban on entering the ocean.

Police barked: “Care for inspiring.”

One man shuffled off. The diversified didn’t. Moments later, he was arrested for “standing collected”.

The person that had ambled off retained his freedom. The diversified one disappeared from verify, caged in a crowded police van, and not using a “social distancing” in verify.

Enjoy many incidents more.

There’s an expression: “You’re entitled to you private opinions. However now not your private details.”

Staunch. So, to make certain: The above are now not opinions. They’re all captured on video.

“I’m literally haunted of the police,” a Cape Town man told me. He’s a senior authorities reliable.

The details above increase a national narrative: “The police had been heavy-handed.”

And top police management have agreed.

When a man’s toddler ran on to a sea budge, and he stepped on to the sand to fetch her – and was then arrested – Western Cape Provincial Police Commissioner Lieutenant-Traditional Yolisa Matakata was dismayed.

She implored her officers to make explain of “common sense” and “general sense” subsequent time.

The general public criticism has even reached support into historical past, drawing comparisons with Nazi Germany. “Police brutality” has change into front-web recount recordsdata.

However I’d steal to arrest this remark of idea, for the moment.

For a straightforward reason: It goes support to how we explain “recordsdata”.

In journalism college, a protracted time ago, I was taught this straight forward rationalization: “Man bites dog.”

Explained: Canine bite folks the overall time. It be a little sore – but now not regularly Web page One recordsdata.

On the diversified hand, if a MAN needed to bite a DOG: Now we’re talking!

The above tales are all documented.

Alleged police abuse, physically.

Alleged police abuse of strength. Alleged police abuse of authority. The courts will wish to attain to a decision whether the police perpetrators are responsible or harmless. It’s lawful they’re held publicly to tale.

However previously 50 days of lockdown, these incidents represent a exiguous portion of my private dealings with a variety of of diversified police. And their behaviour has told a vividly diversified anecdote.

Of men and females in blue, crisply starched with pleasure. Relentless in their courtesy. Tireless in their professionalism. Tenacious in their discipline.

Who’ve stood big, unbuckled by the encircling uncertainty and dread. Honouring their sworn tasks to support and supply protection to.

I watched a City of Cape Town Metro policeman quit a teen on a bicycle. Out on the avenue illegally. The officer stopped him in his tracks. The broad-eyed younger man was haunted.

However the officer had a gun – and likewise grace.

In that moment, he understood his staunch strength was gentleness. He let the rider budge alongside with a stern warning.

And in Greenmarket Sq., a moment which can stay with me without waste: Dozens of refugees filed out of the Methodist Church, after police insisted they leave for a safer unique procedure – rather then filled up on top of every diversified between the pews. The incident had began ominously, when police battered down the old wood church door with sledgehammers.

“Oh boy,” we said, here goes: “Here’s going to discontinue in tears.”

Then I noticed, on the frontline, a man leaning in, watching complaints carefully. A man in blue. He was top brass – but wore no intellectual-gold tainted.

As a change, the identical working fatigues as his men.  

“That is the overall in cost of this operation,” an insider defined to me.

“He’s been here since very early this morning, sitting amongst the refugees, talking to them, pleading with them. Explaining this circulate has to happen, under the Ache Administration Act. And promising it’ll be accomplished peacefully, with maximum dignity.”

The general watched every step, now not from a express-submit-on-high, but alongside with his private eyes. Taking private tale for the behaviour of his men.

And that, in my expertise, is the staunch front web recount recordsdata, which never makes the papers. 

Now now not the elbow jammed into my throat, but the hundreds of SAPS, military and legislation enforcement officers, at a variety of of of roadblocks and operations, previously 50 days, who have all defended my dignity.

As aggressively as their badges and our Structure demand.

– Murray Williams is a reporter at News24

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