S. African police chief defends police deployment in protest-hit universities

CAPE TOWN, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- South Africa's Acting National Police Commissioner Khomotso Phahlane on Monday defended the deployment of police in and around universities hit by student protests, saying the policy will remain unchanged.

"The deployment of members in and around the university precinct will remain unchanged until advised by the realization of stability and order," Phahlane said in a statement.

"Our planning and deployment measures will remain in place as long as the need exists for our presence to prevent and combat criminality, acts of violence and intimidation," Phahlane added.

Civil organizations have called for the removal of police from universities, claiming that the deployment has worsened the volatile situation.

Student protests over fee increases have been raging on for weeks across the country. Police's heavy-handed approach to the protests has been under fire.

"The South African Police Service (SAPS) in all provinces continue to monitor the situation on university campuses and to deploy our members as and where necessary, particularly those at which violent incidents have occurred," said the police chief.

SAPS members are continuously directed to act within the confines of the law and apply the proportional use of force provided for in the laws of the country in the execution of their policing mandate, he said.

Phahlane said the SAPS has not taken over operational control of any institution of higher learning in the country, and the management and security within the institutions of higher learning remain the responsibility of the university concerned. Enditem

[ Editor: meng ]


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