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Water cannons will be used instead of rubber bullets to prevent deaths during protests, police said yesterday.
“The Andries Tatane incident in Ficksburg was unfortunate. We do not want a repeat of that,” spokesman Zweli Mnisi said.
Tatane was killed, allegedly by police using rubber bullets, during a service delivery protest in Ficksburg last year.
The use of rubber bullets during protests would be stopped, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said on Sunday at the Mpumalanga safety and security summit.
This was contained in the white paper on safety and security.
The use of rubber bullets had been under discussion for the past two years, Mnisi said. The use of water cannons was a start, but citizens had to act responsibly during protests.
“The issue of training also becomes crucial. That is why we do not just send any police officer to man a protest.”
Mnisi said the police procured various items, such as water cannons, before the 2010 World Cup.