The South African Police Service (SAPS) briefed the Portfolio Committee on Police on current interventions made in ‘hotspots’ around the country. SAPS adopted an integrated policing approach to manage public protests that led to civil unrest. Operations are initiated on the basis of National Threat Assessments conducted by intelligence structures. The Threat Assessments identified the following causal factors:
Protest actions in tertiary institutions
Workplace instability and industrial action
Political contestation leading up to the 2016 Municipal Elections
Community protest action related to service delivery complaints
Event-specific threats, e.g. land invasions, anti-foreigner sentiments and conflict within the transport industry
SAPS identified 12 hotspots in 5 provinces (Western Cape, Gauteng, Eastern Cape, KZN and Limpopo) that are current and its Incident Registration Information System (IRIS) drives the interventions it makes.
Some of the protest actions were highly publicised, especially in Vuwani, Grabouw and at the University of Fort Hare during its centenary celebrations. SAPS reported that the situation in Grabouw was still tense but under control, while national deployment is currently operational in Vuwani and KwaMashu, because the situations are still unresolved. The report noted the following:
Arrests were made in Grabouw (16), Vuwani (28), KZN (32), Gauteng (20) and the Eastern Cape (64)
In total, 154 deployments have been made to address protest action in Ennerdale (44%), Hammanskraal (22%) and Kagiso (34%)
104 Pubic Order Police officials and 23 visible policing members were deployed to protests at the University of Fort Hare
Police identified crimes at KwaMashu Men's Hostel and Glebelands Hostels to be both politically and criminally motivated with 14 arrests made so far.
See infographic below for more:
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