A Cape Town councillor for Subcouncil 15, Ward 54, JP Smith lashed out at the ANC, who said City’s metro police behaves like that of the apartheid era, following an incident where metro police were caught on camera throwing a handicapped man out of his wheelchair.
Smith, Mayco Member for Safety and Security said the City’s leadership had addressed the matter with urgency.
The ANC caucus in the City of Cape Town expressed it’s outraged on Thursday against what it called the latest example of the culture of brutality, cruelty and total disregard for human rights.
The ANC said “We are shocked by this cruelty, which reminds us of the human rights abuses of the apartheid police. We have seen other examples of this callousness from the Metro Police, which is led by a person who cut his teeth in the old police force”.
“Just like the apartheid police, the metro police behaves with impunity.”
The party said Mayor Dan Plato and Smith must take responsibility.
“They, as well as former policeman Robbie Robberts, who heads the Metro Police, must step down immediately. We also call on the Human Rights Commission to investigate this atrocity immediately.”
Smith responded on Friday stating that there is “unfortunately no amount of hypocrisy that the ANC will not engage in, matched only by their willingness to engage in misinformation”.
“The City does not condone the behaviour of the officers in the video, regardless of what the context might have been.
“It is for this reason that our executive director, Richard Bosman, has suspended the two Metro Police officers while the full investigation takes place. The City confirms that it’s leadership had addressed the matter with urgency and will continue to do so.”
He said the ANC caucus statement incorrectly lists Petrus Robberts as the director for Metro Police and wrongfully calls for his removal, as the Metro Police Department, is headed by Chief Wayne le Roux.
Smith said “Aside from the fact that the incorrect official is identified as running the Metro Police, the bigger problem is that the few incidents every year of complaints against the conduct of the Traffic, Law Enforcement or Metro Police officials pales by comparison to the absolutely frightening statistics presented by the Independent Police Investigations Directorate (IPID) in relation to SAPS with more than 828 incidents of police brutality, murder, rape, assault and other serious crimes committed by the national police service under the control of the ANC, reported in just 40 days during a portion of their recent lockdown”.
“The City of Cape Town has an excellent disciplinary record and rapidly takes action against staff members when they are accused of wrongdoing. When the facts have subsequently emerged they have often shown a very different picture from the original allegation or the original selective distribution of video footage.
Smith then went on to lambaste Police Minister Bheki Cele “who says there is no problem with police by brutality in SAPS even after shocking statistics are presented and where disciplinary cases are often completely ignored and no action is taken”.