EXPLORING SOUTH AFRICAN POLICE SERVICE’S MANAGEMENT OF CIVIL PROTESTS IN SOUTH AFRICA
Jacob Tseko Mofokeng
Prof, Dr, Tshwane University of Technology, email@example.com
More recently around 2015 and 2016, South Africa has experienced a growing number of protest action and unrest which, in some instances were accompanied by serious provocation, intimidation, public violence and even elements of criminality. The main challenge for the South African Police Service (SAPS) is to respond to these manifestations within the spirit and context of a community orientated policing model and the Bill of Rights. This requires a realistic balance between acknowledging the rights of citizens to demonstrate versus the police’s need to ensure peace and stability. These challenges require us to assess the effectiveness of public order policing, especially with regard to its practice and response. In respect of the vested rights granted by the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996. Of note is that not all public protest can proceed unrestricted because the merits of public protest actions are not always clear-cut. The purpose of this paper is therefore, to seek to understand the SAPS management of civil protests in the selected areas in the Gauteng Province, South Africa. This study employed a quantitative research method. 103 respondents form the SAPS from Public Order Policing (POP) Johannesburg, POP Pretoria and POP Springs took part to identify the underlying causes relating to police brutality during public protests. Results show that the respondents were split whether there are no specific strategies or specific strategies available to deal with public protests in South Africa. The males disagreed more on this statement, thus more of the males than the females were of the perception that there are specific strategies available to deal with civil protests in South Africa. POP springs were more of the perception than the other two stations that there are no specific strategies available to deal with civil protests in SA.
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