By Kaya 959 News
Police have been commended for how they handled the crowds that gathered outside the Nkandla residence at the weekend.
Hundreds of Jacob Zuma’s supporters flouted COVID regulations rules and headed to his homestead following a Constitutional Court ruling that found Zuma in contempt.
He was ordered to serve 15 months imprisonment.
Police and Prison Civil Rights Union (Popcru) said officers displayed restraint.
“We commend the leadership of the SAPS in the province, under the stewardship of the Provincial Commissioner Mkhwanazi, for having taken the approach they did in de-escalating and neutralising the potential conflict as it had been clear that lockdown regulations had been flouted,” Popcru’s Richard Mamabolo said.
He said despite the many “explicit, provocative attempts displayed by some protesters”, police officials were able to “de-escalate the potentially volatile situation”.
Mamabolo added that the situation could have otherwise turned into a violent scene.
“Hence we wish to dispel the unfair criticism levelled against the police’s purported inaction at the time.
“There are various intelligence resources and methods that are deployed in ensuring those who act outside the bounds of the law are held accountable,” he said.
‘We have to be careful’
In an earlier statement, the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NatJoints) said the SAPS commanders and officers on the ground were given clear and concise directives that responses to any and all situations must be informed by proper analysis.
“Every situation will be assessed and dealt with on its own merit,” spokesperson, Brigadier Vish Naidoo, said.
He said in “situations where any operational response by the security forces may potentially result in injury and/or loss of life, a criminal case or cases will be opened against those that have created such situations and criminal action will be instituted against such persons”.
KZN SAPS Commissioner, General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, said police had to be careful in how they handled the matter.
“This is not a normal crowd management situation. We have to be careful. We don’t want to draw away from what this is about,” he said.