Speaking for the South African Police Service (SAPS), Acting National Commissioner, Lieutenant General Khomotso Phahlane asked the nation not to bothered about South Africa having a state of emergency due to the protesting students at universities.
He affirmed that police across the country will continue to enforce peace despite the intimidation from protesting students.
Phahlane was addressing the media on the activities of the police in line with the protests at the nation’s universities.
“It is extremely concerning to note that criminality, intimidation, and attacks on police members have taken place at some universities, leaving the SAPS members deployed with no option but to respond with a degree of force in order to stabilize the situation.
“Attacks on law enforcement officials, constitutionally mandated to uphold the laws of the land, can only be described as an attack on the state itself,” he remarked.
Adding that the protesting students’ behavior shouldn’t be condoned and ought to be condemned by all, General Phahlane praised SAPS members deployed to manage the situation.
He said they’ve continued to display maximum restraint in the face of severe provocation. Stressing that the task isn’t easy, Phahlane said:
“They have been called upon to protect lives and property in the middle of a dispute that is not of their making. Many, if not most of them are parents and to be attacked, insulted and assaulted by the youth who they only want to protect is a bitter pill to swallow.”
With that, General Phahlane asserted that it’s as though the students are asking for another Marikana. However, he proclaimed that “…there will be no other Marikana” despite the provocations.
“We are determined and have proved to this point that our members will exercise restraint so that no student should be harmed while we attempt to maintain stability and safety in our country. We remain resolute in this regards,” added the police boss.