Coronavirus: Politicians up in arms over the mistreatment of civilians

Coronavirus: Politicians up in arms over the mistreatment of civilians

- South African politicians have noted with disgust the behaviour of some law enforcement personnel

- Clips of violence against citizens have surfaced online, calling the integrity of the SAPS and SANDF into question

- This comes despite President Cyril Ramaphosa's call to the military to be kind to civilians during their operations

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Politicians are up in arms over the misconduct on display by members of both the South African Police Service and SA National Defence Force.

Despite clear regulations put into place by the government, authorities have seemingly taken it into their hands to impose restrictions as they see fit.

From harassing citizens in the safety of their own homes to preventing companies with permits from operating and more extreme shows of violence, the situation seems to be getting out of hand.

READ ALSO: Commander-in-chief Ramaphosa urges troops to be kind during lockdown

One South Africa leader Mmusi Maimane commented on a clip of an officer beating a civilian:

"Bafethu Cyril Ramaphosa, Ronald Lamola and SA Police Service the civilians are not the enemy. The virus is the enemy. This is not right. Let’s respect civilian rights and have all security officers observe the law."

Interim Democratic Alliance leader John Steenhuisen has also slammed the behaviour:

"Those who find the forced squats and push-ups being meted out by the SANDF amusing, just think if this was a member of your family? This isn’t how a professional military conducts itself. History has shown us that it starts with push ups but always ends in a more sinister way..."

Member of Parliament Dean Macpherson also weighed in on the issue, calling on President Cyril Ramaphosa to intervene:

"Let’s not forget who the army and police have taken their orders from and to ‘nudge’ people if they don’t listen. That ‘nudge’ has turned into frogmarching, beatings and now bullets. The same man can also put a stop to it." reported that President Cyril Ramaphosa had urged against 'skop and donner' tactics, urging the military to be respectful when they engage with civilians

"They will be looking up to you to give them confidence that everything will be alright, they will be looking unto you not as a force of might but as a force of kindness. This is not the time for skop en donner. This is a moment to be supportive of our people."

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