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AfriForum launches campaign against TMPD power abuse

AfriForum announced a comprehensive campaign today against the alleged power abuses and misbehaviour by certain members of the Tshwane Metro Police Department (TMPD). The civil rights organisation is currently supporting two victims of alleged power abuse by the TMPD.

“Kymie du Toit and Prof. André Thomashausen suffered alleged misbehaviour by certain TMPD members, and no-one has yet been held accountable. AfriForum became involved in these cases to ensure that the TMPD members are brought to book to serve as examples to other members of the TMPD who abuse their power. We will not hesitate to prosecute these members privately,” says Adv. Gerrie Nel, Head of AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit.

The campaign encompasses three parts. The first action saw AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit writing to Lt. Gen. Johanna Nkomo, Head of the TMPD, and requesting that:

  1. Nkomo appoints a task team to investigate complaints against the Metro Police and to support members of the public who were victims of power abuse by TMPD members;
  2. Nkomo provides a written undertaking to AfriForum that officers against whom there are prima facie proof of irregular actions will be suspended without pay; and
  3. Written guidelines be communicated to each and every TMPD officer to inform them of which actions are authorised and what road users’ rights are.

AfriForum also compiled a handy set of tips on what to do when metro police members request them to pay bribe money or when they feel intimidated by officers’ actions. These guidelines are available in Afrikaans, English and Sepedi.

AfriForum furthermore made a complaint platform available on its website where the public can submit complaints against TMPD members to AfriForum, as well as directly to Nkomo. Although this platform is aimed specifically at misbehaviour by members of the TMPD, people from other parts of the country who want to complain about their metro police members may use this platform to submit the information.

“AfriForum has great appreciation for metro police members who do their work dutifully and are trying to improve the safety of road users, but strongly condemns the alleged power abuses and misbehaviour by certain members of the TMPD. The civil rights organisation launched this campaign to help ensure the safety of motorists and road users by preventing the rotten apples in the TMPD from terrorising the public,” says Ian Cameron, AfriForum’s Head of Community Safety.

In its letter to Nkomo, AfriForum demands that the TMPD officers in the Du Toit and Thomashausen cases – against whom charges were brought at the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) – be suspended without pay, pending the investigation. “If this does not happen, AfriForum will have no other choice but to approach the courts to compel the TMPD to perform its duties, which will ensure that the public is protected against this type of behaviour,” Cameron concludes.

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