MPs are advocating for the widespread adoption of police body cameras in South Africa. This call comes in the wake of the recent incident involving the N1 highway assault of civilians by members of the presidential protection unit in Johannesburg.
A video recording of the incident has sparked outrage. MPs highlight the need for body cameras to provide a neutral account of interactions between law enforcement and civilians. They believe it would reduce the likelihood of similar incidents going unnoticed due to a lack of visual evidence.
EWN reports that MPs view this assault as part of a larger pattern of police brutality and misconduct. Body cameras are a potential solution to ensure transparency and accountability within the police force.
National Police Commissioner Fannie Masemola acknowledged that equipping officers with body cameras is under consideration by the South African Police Service. The incident has led to eight officers facing assault charges and internal disciplinary proceedings.
The gravity of the situation prompted police officials, including Police Minister Bheki Cele, to address Parliament’s police portfolio committee. Cele acknowledged the negative impact the event has had on the image of the South African Police Service.
“There was nothing new that one would have come up with other than fill the gaps, as one has filled the gaps in calling for the police to be cooperative on the matter and doing what they are supposed to do,” CapeTalk quoted the minister.
The officers involved in the assault incident are on bail of R10,000 each.
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