Why is SAPS treating us like criminals, asks protesting student: iLIVE - Times LIVE
   
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Sat Dec 10 07:01:26 SAST 2016

Why is SAPS treating us like criminals, asks protesting student: iLIVE

Penelope Gumede | 2015-10-23 10:30:05.0

South African Police Services what is your role? What is it that you stand for?

We are mere students fighting for a cause that will not only benefit us but your children as well.

We march peacefully and what do you resort to? You treat us like criminals who have just robbed a bank. We cannot and we refuse to be equated to and treated as such. We are the ones being robbed of a future; we are being deprived by the system, a future our parents voted for in 1994. You behave no differently to how police treated students in 1976.

If for some reason one is behaving in a manner you don’t deem right, there is no need to pull them by their clothing or press them on the floor.

As far as I know, force is used in cases of individuals that are not cooperating and how this can be attributed to students, I do not know. Watching how you treat innocent civilians is really heartbreaking and makes me come close to tears. It paralyses the soul.

You may feel you are doing your job but I am certain that your job descriptions do not include torturing and brutalizing people.  You may feel when you have gotten hold of us we automatically become criminals and even so; criminals should be treated with dignity.

When we as students strike we have no intention of turning the areas into a warzone as this deviates from the purpose of the strikes. Our discipline compels us to remain issues based.

I, at times, want to know and see, what your training manuals say. If this is how you interpret a constitutionally protected right of protest action, I fear for this country and as Alan Paton said, 'Cry the beloved country.'

The ruin of this country and the blood of your sons and daughters shall be in your hands – even though you claim to be serving under a democratic state.

Yours Faithfully

Miss Penelope Gumede
LLM (Masters in Medical Law) student University of KwaZulu Natal

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