A bystander killed during Wits protest. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency(ANA)
A bystander killed during Wits protest. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency(ANA)

LETTER: SAPS commissioner must account for Wits death

By Michael Bagraim Time of article published Mar 17, 2021

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In reference to, “Student protests spread across SA after death at Wits University“:

by Michael Bagraim

I place the blame squarely and entirely at the foot of the SAPS commissioner.

For some reason or other there are individual police men and women who over-react when the situation is slightly tense. This is not to say that the entire police force is tainted and it is not to say that there are some fantastic police members who are incredibly helpful, level-headed and dedicated.

I wish to shortly outline an event that took place near the end of 2020 when a group of motorcyclists came to Parliament to hand over a petition with regard to farm murders.

By all accounts the motorcycle rally was peaceful and organised.

I was there to receive the petition to hand it over to the relevant minister. When the motorcyclists arrived at the intersection of Roeland Street before they got to Parliament they were stopped by a barrier.

The police refused to allow someone to hand over the petition and refused to allow anyone to talk to them. This decision did create a lot of consternation and one or two of the individuals within the biking group to misbehave.

The situation was entirely caused by the senior officer on duty on that day. All it did was create a situation which could have spilled over into violence. The police commander in charge that day should merely have received the petition and told everyone to go home. It would have been as simple as that.

* Michael Bagraim, Cape Town.

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.

Cape Argus

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