‘You will be provoked‚ but exercise restraint‚’ Phahlane tells hundreds of cops ahead of SONA


‘You will be provoked‚ but exercise restraint‚’ Phahlane tells hundreds of cops ahead of SONA

Farren Collins | 2017-02-09 14:04:47.0

Acting police commissioner Lieutenant-General Khomotso Phahlane addressed hundreds of police officers at the Castle of Good Hope ahead of the SONA on Thursday afternoon.

Image by: Farren Collins

Acting national police commissioner Lieutenant-General Kgomotso Phahlane urged hundreds of police in uniform to exercise restraint if they are provoked during the state of the nation event on Thursday.

“If we use force‚ the law provides for that. But we will use restraint‚” he said at a parade held at the Castle of Good Hope just after 1pm.

There is unprecedented security in place for the event this year with police‚ razor wire‚ armoured vehicles‚ traffic officers and more than 400 SANDF troops on standby to deal with any major “calamity” during SONA in and around Parliament.

Political rivals the ANC and EFF are each having mass gatherings at nearby locations in the city ahead of Thursday night’s address.

Cape Town mayoral committee member for safety‚ security and social services JP Smith told CapeTalk radio that only the ANC had been granted permission to hold a mass gathering at the Grand Parade.

Smith was concerned that rival gatherings could lead to some people “spoiling for a fight”.

“We will act within the confines of law‚” Phahlane told the gathered police officers. “We will exercise maximum restraint.

“In the process of carrying out our duties we will be incited and provoked‚ but don’t overreact. No misconduct will be allowed‚” he told police at the parade briefing.

He reiterated that the SANDF would be playing a supporting role to the police.

– TMG Digital/TimesLIVE

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