Johannesburg - Police continued to function with an “apartheid mentality” when maintaining public order and while conducting general police activities, the ANC Youth League said on Tuesday.
The killing of two protesters and the wounding of two others in Mothutlung, Brits, in the North West during a service delivery protest on Monday showed there was something seriously wrong with the police's public order unit, the youth league said in a statement.
“It seems as though teargas and rubber bullets are no longer used but live rounds of ammunition.”
Residents of Mothutlung started protesting on Sunday afternoon about a water shortage.
Police were called to monitor them after they barricaded a road with burning tyres.
There was an altercation between protesters and the police, during which two protesters were shot dead.
“In recent times, the whole country has become an audience in a theatrical showcase of an ever-growing bad culture of police brutality,” the league said.
The resultant effect was entrenched fear among citizens whenever they saw law enforcement officers.
“That sort of situation is unacceptable and should not be allowed to mature without condemnation,” the league said.
The league called on all members of the police to revisit their resolve to serve in the police force.
“They should go back to the basics of serving our people and protecting citizens from crime and related ills.”