News24 Wire
Wire Service
1 minute read
12 May 2020
5:13 pm

KZN premier orders probe after child manhandled by officers during lockdown tussle

News24 Wire

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala has called for an investigation into the manhandling of a KZN child while KwaDukuza crime prevention and traffic officers were allegedly enforcing lockdown regulations.

Screenshot from a video taken of the KwaDukuza incident.

A video, which has gone viral on social media, was taken at a complex in Ballito, on the north coast of the province, on Sunday morning, showing the scuffle between the officers and others while the child is being dragged out of the premises by the arm – all this while shouting for his father.

Zikalala said the peace officers were responding to a complaint after several families had been seen at the beach that morning.

He instructed Transport, Community Safety and Liaison MEC Bheki Ntuli and Cooperative and Local Governance MEC Sipho Hlomuka to launch an urgent investigation into the alleged incident and to provide him with a report.

“As the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government, we do not condone any form of abuse against citizens, especially children, during the Covid-19 national lockdown,” said Zikalala.

Zikalala said that, while municipal peace officers had a responsibility to maintain peace in their neighbourhoods during the lockdown, “the abuse of children would not be tolerated as it is a violation of the Constitution”.

“Our country’s Constitution promotes special protection for children because they are among the most vulnerable members of society.”

He also called for calm.

“We appeal for cool heads during this difficult time and also appeal to our people to respect the regulations of the lockdown, to prevent any unnecessary confrontation with law enforcement officers,” he added.

KwaDukuza’s acting mayor, Dolly Govender, told News24 on Monday night that she condemned the incident.

“I was ashamed of seeing what is happening with community safety officials. I have spoken to a senior official, who is calling in these officers to ascertain what happened.”

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