South Africa Policing the Police

Mischief-making in the ranks undercuts De Klerk's reforms

A commission appointed by President F.W. de Klerk leveled a stinging indictment last week: 30 police officers had acted illegally when they fired into a crowd of black protesters last March, killing five people and wounding 200. The direct cause of the shootings was a lack of discipline and control over the ranks, said the report, and the commission recommended that the officers be prosecuted. In another memorandum, prominent church leaders charged that police helped stir up the recent black rampages in the townships around Johannesburg that left more than 500 people dead.

Despite De Klerk's pledge to build a "new...

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