Photo by Gallo Images/Brenton Geach.

Are South African Police abusing their power enforcing the coronavirus lockdown?

South Africans Condemn Police Brutality During Coronavirus Lockdown

A number of videos have emerged on social media allegedly showing the intimidation and assault of several Black South Africans by law enforcement.

South Africa recently began a nationwide lockdown in an effort to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has been deployed across the nation to aid the police in ensuring that the rules of the lockdown are upheld. However, disturbing footage has emerged on social media allegedly depicting law enforcement agents assaulting Black South Africans.


Now standing at a total of 1280 confirmed cases with 2 reported deaths, South Africa's lockdown is scheduled to last for 3 weeks as part of attempts to flatten the curve of the outbreak.

READ: These are the 46 African Countries That Have Reported Cases of Coronavirus

Most businesses and schools have been shut down except for what are deemed "essential services". South Africans are required to stay indoors throughout the entire period aside from venturing outside to seek medical care or to buy essential items such as food. Anyone found to be in contravention of the rules will reportedly face a hefty fine, prosecution or both.

South Africans on social media, however, are increasingly calling out both police and SANDF officials for what they feel is an abuse of power particularly targeting Black South Africans.

Several videos have since emerged showing law enforcement officials intimidating and even physically assaulting Black South Africans––even those within their own homes. One man, Sibusiso Amos, was allegedly killed by the police while they were reportedly enforcing restrictions of the lockdown in Vosloorus, Johannesburg, yesterday.

The likes of Thandiswa Mazwai, Lebogang Mashile, Khaya Sithole, Lesego Tlhabi and several others have spoken out against the continued use of intimidation and violence by law enforcement and called for President Cyril Ramaphosa to address the issue.

Below are just some of the videos which have been shared on social media. Please be advised that some of these videos may be upsetting to sensitive viewers.







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Photo Credit: Getty Images

Global Citizen x OkayAfrica: The Impact of Conflict on Children

An estimated 1.4 million children have been hit by schools closing in the Tigray region of Ethiopia amid conflict and crisis. Here's how that's impacting Ethiopia's children.

In times of conflict and war, school-aged children could have their futures defined by whether or not they can access education amid ongoing violence.

Ethiopia's northern region of Tigray is in the midst of a war that has impacted millions of lives and affected neighboring regions, Amhara and Afar. The war — which has forced citizens to flee, has tipped the region into famine, and has barricaded humanitarian aid from reaching the most vulnerable — has now been going on for about 11 months.

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"As schools prepare to reopen in early October in most parts of the country, in Tigray and the bordering regions of Afar and Amhara, where the conflict has expanded, education remains at a standstill," Director of Education Cannot Wait, Yasmine Sherif, told Global Citizen.

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