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.







Popular
Image courtesy of Chude Jideonwo

Nigerian Mental Health Advocate Chude Jideonwo Shares Practical Ways Of Coping During COVID

We speak with the founder of Joy Inc. about the mental health challenges facing Nigerians, how many have managed to find effective ways to cope, and the online resources available to the community.

Never in our lifetimes have we experienced a pandemic of this gravity. As COVID-19 cases rise in Nigeria, Nigerians aren't just worried about getting the virus, they are also concerned about a host of other challenges: our lack of efficient and effective healthcare—which is overwhelmed even without a pandemic—the lack of appropriate data, and the high levels of poverty and illiteracy in the country that make it difficult to enforce the strategies that will enable us to handle the pandemic and keep it under control.

In a bid to understand how Nigerians are dealing with mental health challenges now, on the ground, due to the pandemic—which has led to a lockdown restricting movement and also social distancing rules—we spoke with Nigerian journalist, lawyer and mental healthcare advocate Chude Jideonwo, who is the founder of Joy Inc. He shared insights from his experiences with The Joy Inc., which he founded in 2016 to help young people going through mental and emotional challenges. He aimed to help provide young Nigerians with tools to help navigate the world around them.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

'This Is One Too Many'—African Union Condemns the Murder of George Floyd

"The African Union is distressed to witness yet another unwarranted execution of another African-American male."