Our zeroes this week are the police officers who assaulted and arrested a Daily Sun journalist for taking photos of officers allegedly involved in soliciting bribes.
They also jailed him, and when he got his cellphone back the pictures had been deleted. The officers have denied all the allegations but we have to ask: why did they do this if they had nothing to hide?
The journalist, Ricky Dire, also claims to have received death threats against him and his family.
In recent months the South African public has seen numerous examples of police using excessive force against citizens. People have died as a result and it seems as though the police force, who should be the ones we trust to protect us, are rather becoming the enemies of democracy.
North West premier Thandi Modise has called for an IPID investigation, which, the Daily Sun has confirmed, is under way. “Police have to work very hard on their image to inspire and regain public confidence after recent tragedies experienced in our province viewed by some as acts of police brutality. They should realise that their conduct is under public scrutiny and strive to be above reproach,” she said.
If the police are serious about cleaning up their act, we suggest that they start by investigating the incident thoroughly, prosecuting the officers involved and if they are found guilty, dismissing them, and apologising to the journalist.