Cape Town - EFF MP Henry Shembeni was left unimpressed during a virtual briefing on Wednesday by the Portfolio Committee on Police, where the SAPS was praised for their conduct during the nationwide shutdown.
Shembeni said moving forward, no one could claim that there was a lack of resources within SAPS.
“There is absolutely nothing like that. The SAPS was highly deployed across the country on Monday.
“They have spent so much money on something that was planned for one day, to stop one political party from picketing, and now you want to come here and tell us the SAPS doesn’t have resources.
“What is that? In all those rural areas, police were there on the ground on Monday, with all types of resources, so we cannot be told about complexities and difficulties in rural areas to deal with crime.
“Choppers were operating all over the country, but when there is crime, and they are needed, we are told there is no diesel,” said Shembeni.
Only one shop in Soweto was reported to have been looted, and no lives were lost during the protests, Police Minister Bheki Cele boasted.
Cele said a comprehensive report on the shutdown was underway, and a preliminary report was done.
“Our major plan was the protection of life, and we are proud to say no life was lost during the shutdown protest and no major reports of damage to property. One shop was looted in Soweto, and no other reports of that nature. We will present a thorough report,” said Cele.
Police committee chairperson, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, commended the integrated law enforcement deployments, saying they were marked by isolated incidents of violence in some provinces.
“We applaud the police management in the manner they dealt with protest, including restraint in the amount of force used. They have proved that indeed lessons have been learnt from past cases in the way they deal with crowd management,” she said.