The police’s Presidential Protection Services’ brutality in Gauteng has highlighted several failures within how public safety is managed in South Africa.
Civil organisation, Action Society has questioned whether the deputy president’s VIP protection is there because they face genuine threats, or if they serve to reinforce the prestige attached to their office.
The group’s founder, Ian Cameron has used the Athlone police precinct as a case study, noting that on a weekday, there is only one patrol car available to the entire community.
He says that its ludicrous that one person has several police officers and resources at their disposal, while a community only has one service vehicle to conduct patrols.
In the video doing the rounds of the VIP assault, the security detail of the Deputy President Paul Mashatile is seen dragging two males from a vehicle and brutally assaulting them.
A third person is seen lying on the side of the road. At least four warrant officers involved in the incident are attached to the police’s Presidential Protection Services (PPS).
They have since been served with suspension letters, while two others are also expected to face a similar sanction.
It’s alleged that the victims got too close to the unmarked VIP vehicles, prompting the attack.