The Acting Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Police, Mr Nocks Seabi, has called on the South African Police Service (SAPS) to heighten policing and ensure that the rule of law is implemented both in Cape Town, which is experiencing violence related to a taxi strike, and the perennial challenge posed by illegal mining in the City of Johannesburg.
“Heightened police visibility in Cape Town will go a long way in ensuring adherence to the rule of law on one hand while protecting the right to protest as enshrined by the Constitution. While we welcome assurances given by the police, it is critically important that the right to protest does not infringe on the civil rights of those who choose not to protest,” Mr Seabi argued.
The Acting Chairperson underscored the concern around violent behaviour that might undermine to some extent genuine concerns within the transport industry. The burning and stoning of cars and blocking of roads negatively affect South Africans and directly undermine efforts to drive economic growth. “We call on protesters to raise their objections within the confines of the law and urge the SAPS to arrest and ensure prosecution of those that carry out illegal acts,” Mr Seabi said.
Regarding the illegal mining problem in Johannesburg, the Acting Chairperson has emphasised that an intelligence-led operation is critical to address the problem. Also, a multisectoral approach is necessary to address the complex problems that give rise to illegal mining operations. “Above all, the SAPS must ensure the arrest of syndicates operating in the environment to ensure that this form of illegality is uprooted,” Mr Seabi said.
Mr Seabi welcomed the increased police operations in Riverlea but has called for similar operation across all hotspot areas.