By Dr Tutu Faleni (MPL), DA North West Education Spokesperson:
The DA welcomes an announcement by the MEC for Community Safety, Mr Gaoage Molapisi, that he will launch an investigation into alleged police brutality at the Matloding village.
In doing so the MEC has responded to a DA statement in the North West Provincial Legislature, that the SAPS went to the Matloding village and dispersed a community meeting with untempered violence, rubber bullets and tear gas. The community was meeting to find solutions to a school crisis in the village.
According to information received from community members, SAPS gave the meeting two seconds to disperse before opening fire. This order from the police was completely unrealistic and furthermore there was no grounds for police to intervene or disrupt the meeting.
Community members posed no threat to public safety and human life when the police descended on villagers.
A member of the community lost a sight in her left eye as a result of being hit by a police rubber bullet. A community member who alleges that police chased him and fired at him using live ammunition.
A case against the police has been opened with the Independent Police Investigative Directorate.
The DA also brought it to Molapisi’s attention that a pensioner, who was one of the seven people that were arrested, had her medication confiscated by the police.
The Democratic Alliance welcomes the planned investigation by the MEC. The MEC must now provide the North West Provincial Legislature with the timeline for the investigation.
We owe it to the people of Matloding and all our communities that no community is subjected to excessive use of force by the police.