Article by: Emma Clayfield
An undeniable outcry against police and SANDF brutality in townships looms as South African citizens call on to the President of the country, to intervene and reprimand enforcers about the ill treatment of those in informal settlements and vulnerable persons.
During the course of the week, stories of ill treatment by law enforcement officials have surfaced, as the enforcement of lockdown rules has intensified, with microscopic attention paid to areas which are dominated by a large number of people, namely being that of informal settlements.
Things have spiralled out of control, as the style and manner of enforcement implemented in townships has created a bone chilling need for President Cyril Ramaphosa to address those he has put into a position of power and those who hold the responsibility to enforce lockdown regulations, as citizens are crying fowl.
On social media videos and pictures of SANDF, SAPS or JMPD Officers mistreating black South African Citizens and having them perform unneccisarily gruesome punishments are circulating and have been labeled as black on black crime and brutality.
The officers are claiming to be well within their rights and are merely just enforcing lockdown rules, by ensuring that residents in townships comply with the rules set out by the president for the duration of the lockdown.
We have however witnessed questionable instances where civilians were subjected to less than humanly treatment , whilst most of them, if not all were carrying out activities which are well within their human rights such as commissioning their right to the purchasing of essential goods.
On top of a large number of domestic violence cases reported in townships since the commencement of the lockdown, civilians are also subjected to police brutality with one death reported at the hands of officials in the township of Alexandra.
Residents are calling out to the government to protect them from such ill treatment and require to be treated with the same respect and humanity that is afforded to those who live in suburban areas, who are allowed to access essential services without being harassed by law enforcement officers.
All South African citizens are still urged and encouraged to adhere to the lockdown rules set out by the President in order to successfully mitigate the spread of the Coronavirus in the country. However we do call on the president and government at large, to protect those in disadvantaged communities and to ensure that they are treated with the same respect and dignity that they deserve.
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