<html> <head> <title>ANC Western Cape statement on police brutality

ANC Western Cape statement on police brutality

ANC Western Cape statement on police brutality

29 August 2000


Rasool calls on Khan ANC Western Cape Leader Ebrahim Rasool has called on Western Cape Director of Public Prosecutions Frank Khan to appeal the acquittal of Sergeant Ian Myburgh, the policeman set a Paarl homeless person Andries Pietersen alight.

On the even of the HRC conference of racism, ANC Western Cape Leader has appealed to Mr Kahn to appeal against the acquittal of the Paarl policeman who set Mr alight using a lighter and methalyted spirits.

Mr Rasool has called on Mr Kahn to make public the report into why the charges were formulated in a certain way, why the case was referred to the Wolseley Magistrates Court and how the police prepared the prosecution.

Said Mr Rasool:

"There is a great deal of anger in the Paarl community as to how this member of the SAPS managed to walk away scott free. The entire process does not inspire confidence in our system of criminal justice in the Western Cape.

"Our experience in the Western cape clearly points to racism being at the root of many problems in the criminal justice system.

"When farm workers are beaten the police are sometimes reluctant to arrest those responsible. Charges are often formulated in a certain way which prejudices the chance of conviction.

"At the end of the day there is a growing perception that Coloureds and Africans are treated with a different yardstick.

"All this is happening in a situation where the responsible provincial government does not appear to have the political will to confront racism in our province.

"The ANC has called for an investigation into this matter and also that the State appeal this judgement." added Mr Rasool.

Commenting on the HRC conference on racism, Mr Rasool said: "The ANC Western Cape has high expectations of the conference. We trust that the impact of racism in our province will feature high on the agenda.

"In particular the issues of racism on farms, in the banks, in the composition of the provincial and local governments need serious attention.

"The legacy of racism arise from influx control, job reservation and group areas must be discussed. We sit with a province divided between a wealthy mainly white community and a desperately poor mostly African and Coloured majority."

For any media enquiries contact:

Cameron Dugmore, Head of Dept: 082-894-7553, or Gert Witbooi, Provincial Media Officer: 082-570-9118.