WATCH: Public order policing gets new firing gear

Police say the cost of the equipment, 80 new vehicles, 35 cameras and top-tier technology, is estimated at about R50m.

The public order police (POP) gave an explosive demonstration on Wednesday morning at the Tshwane Police Academy in Pretoria West to show off their brand new equipment and skills in how to handle future violent protests and strikes in South Africa.

Acting police commissioner Lieutenant-General Kgomotso Phahlane handed over 80 new vehicles, 35 cameras and top-tier technology that will enable them to executive their job even in the most dangerous situations.

The police chief said even though the police did not like using force, some of the protest and strikes were so brutal they had no other choice but to respond accordingly. “We wish every protest remains peaceful, but unfortunately very few protests and marches are peaceful; they are violent,” he said.

Phahlane said the cost of the equipment they handed over this morning was estimated at about R50 million. He said that total would climb to about R245 million once they had rolled out all the equipment to all the POP units through the country. He said the last time they bought new equipment for the POP units was in 2010.

Phahlane said in every violent protest there were sometimes casualties, and that it was very unfortunate and regretful that innocent people got hurt or died, such as in the case of the two-week old baby Jayden Khoza, in the Foreman Road informal settlement in Durban, in KwaZulu-Natal, who allegedly died after police fired teargas at protesters,

He said the police took full responsibility for the death of baby Jayden.

But Phahlane said they could not stand back when the communities were under siege.


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