Police use minimal force with students: Phahlane

Police use minimal force with students: Phahlane

The South African Police Service says minimal force has been used to uphold law and order during Fees Must Fall protests. 

Kgomotso Phahlane at press briefing_jacanews
Photo: Samkele Maseko, JacarandaFM News

Students have been highly critical of the police's conduct. 

Acting National Police Commissioner Khomotso Phahlane has reiterated his belief that the campaign has been infiltrated by criminal elements.

More than 800 people have been arrested since February in connection with the student protests.

Phahlane says police are not on campuses by choice, but have been deployed to deal with criminal elements.

"There are those who have bombarded us with calls to withdraw police officials from university campuses. We reiterate that it is the violence and criminal acts being committed on those campuses that have invited the presence of the police," says Phahlane.

Phahlane says police has exercised maximum restraint under immense pressure.

"There is no way that police are going to be pelted with stones and all kinds of objects and when they apply minimum force, it's considered to be brutality. There is no way that you could allow a situation where police are being stoned, property is being damaged and expect the police to be spectators," says Phahlane.

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