Kate Lorimer MPL
DA Gauteng Community Safety spokesperson
The SA Police Service (SAPS) has laid charges against COSATU for an illegal gathering last week when the DA marched against the Youth Wage Subsidy, and is actively investigating this matter.
I was told this yesterday when I met with Acting Provincial Police Commissioner Pumzo Gela, Superintendent Enoch Sibiya from Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) and a number of members of the Public Order Policing Unit of the SAPS.
The aim of the meeting was to raise the concerns of the DA around the lack of policing protection for DA members during the march and to ensure that a similar situation does not arise in any future marches.
It was acknowledged at the meeting that the threat assessment could have been better on the side of the SAPS and JMPD and that the training of marshals could have been better on the side of the DA.
Communication could also have been improved upon between all three groups.
Assistant Provincial Commissioner Gela has also assured me that the police have no political favourites and respect the democratic right of anybody to march as long as they have the permission to do so.
The SAPS Public Order Policing Unit has also offered to give advice to our marshals to ensure that in future they protect the marchers as much as possible.
I found the SAPS very open and eager to be frank but unfortunately found Superintendent Sibiya of JMPD rather defensive.
I am grateful that all parties involved were able to meet and agree on a way forward.