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Accountability monitor: Police reforms

It’s too easy for our attention to move on from injustice and for us to lose track of the slow process to create justice. The deadly Marikana massacre in 2012 is a case in point. The Farlam commission of inquiry, which investigated the massacre, wrapped up in 2015. That wasn’t the end of it. Following that inquiry a panel of experts has put together 134 recommendations on how the police can properly handle protests and large crowds, to try and prevent another Marikana. 

On Monday police minister Bheki Cele announced what his department is doing – and will continue to do – to comply. 

Core issues being addressed include the SAPS’ strategy and policy, the professionalism and demilitarisation of the police, as well as more transparency and accountability within SAPS units. The officers involved in the massacre are being criminally prosecuted, and the families of the victims have been compensated. 

There is much more to be done, as illustrated by the recent killing of Mthokozisi Ntumba, who was shot dead, allegedly by police, during protests by Wits University students just weeks ago; Collins Khosa, who was killed during lockdown, and many more. So we welcome any moves that see our police becoming the people’s servants, rather than our enemy. ✊🏾

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