49 cases of police brutality reported since start of lockdown, says Bheki Cele
Cape Town - Police Minister Bheki Cele has revealed in Parliament that 49 cases of police brutality have been reported since the start of the lockdown.
Cele also told MPs on Tuesday that eight police officers have been shot and killed during the same period.
The police and the army have faced criticism for the brutal use of force in some of the operations during the lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Cele said the police were allowed by law to use deadly force if they were under attack. However, the police have to act within the law and the Constitution.
He said out of the 49 cases of police brutality reported since the lockdown began 36 investigations have been finalised.
But the police have to act within the confines of the law when working in society.
“I have said since the lockdown we have lost eight members of the police who have been shot and killed,” he said.
He said the law allows the police to defend themselves when under attack.
“That is why the law allows the police to use proportional force to defend innocent South Africans and themselves,” said Cele.