Police in the Eastern Cape “strongly” condemned attacks on officers, calling the unwarranted altercations “disgraceful and disappointing.” This comes after two South African Police Service (SAPS) members were accosted by a group of people dancing in the street near a Makhanda tavern.
Two SAPS members were patrolling D Street in Fingo Village, Makhanda – near a local tavern – when they noticed a group of people dancing around a speaker with “loud music” in the middle of the street, according to Eastern Cape spokesperson Brigadier Tembinkosi Kinana.
The dancers were also drinking alcohol from open containers in public. The pair of SAPS members spoke to the group and warned them against blocking the street and consuming alcohol in public. The dancers reportedly responded with insults and “physical attacks” and told the officers to leave them alone.
“The unruly members of the community further obstructed the police from carrying out their duty to ensure peace and order in the area by even attacking them when returning to the vehicle in which the police were driving,” said Kinana.
Kinana said some of the dancing group manhandled the police officers while others pelted their police vehicle with stones. The SAPS members eventually called for backup, which led to the arrest of two people who were allegedly the instigators of the violence and attacks on police.
“An attack on our police officers is an indirect attack on the rule of law and government,” said provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Liziwe Ntshinga, expressing serious concern about a community that does not respect the law.
“We are going to deal decisively with disruptive criminal elements who consistently launch an onslaught on innocent officers,” added Ntshinga. “Our members will continue fighting crime undeterred and nobody will stop them from carrying out this mandate.”