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Bheki Cele set to release crowd control report

Minister of Police Bheki Cele. Picture: GCIS

Minister of Police Bheki Cele. Picture: GCIS

Published Mar 29, 2021


Durban - Police Minister General Bheki Cele is expected to release a report by a panel of experts, looking into policing and crowd control within the South African Police Service on Monday morning.

The panel was appointed following the findings and recommendations from the Farlam Commission that looked into the 2012 Marikana tragedy.

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On August 16, 2012, police shot dead 34 striking miners outside the Lonmin platinum mines on the outskirts of Marikana, in what was described as the worst act of police brutality since the end of apartheid and became known as the “Marikana massacre”.

In 2015, a commission of inquiry appointed to investigate the incident requested, among others, that a panel of experts be set up to revise and amend public-order policing policies.

Chaired by retired judge Ian Farlam, the commission also tasked the panel to investigate “the world’s best practices” for crowd-management control “without resorting to the use of weapons capable of automatic fire”.

The Farlam Commission recommendations included the assurance that no automatic rifles may be used in crowd control, and that lethal force may not be used for the protection of property only. However, whenever life and property are endangered simultaneously, the use of lethal force will be warranted.

The panel was chaired by the late Judge David Sakelene Vusimuzi Ntshangase comprising security and subject experts, police union representatives as well as senior officials within the visible policing division in the SAPS. The aim of the panel was to analyse the recommendations of the commission and work towards the professionalisation of the SAPS, in line with the strategic imperatives of the national development plan.

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