National Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole has condemned the attack by protesters on the SAPS Public Order Police (POP) in Soweto on Tuesday afternoon.
Officers had responded to a complaint at a biscuit company in Nancefield Industrial Park, where protestors were demanding the reinstatement of employees who had been dismissed.
Police found about 200 participants barricading the entrance to the company and preventing staff and security from leaving the premises.
The protestors refused to heed calls from the police to disperse, which compelled the POP members to disperse them using minimum force.
After a while, the protesters regrouped along Stockwell Street and started stoning passing vehicles.
The POP members responded again but this time, they were pelted with stones and a petrol bomb was thrown at a Nyala vehicle, setting it ablaze.
At least three POP members sustained leg injuries from the stone-throwing and were taken to a local hospital for treatment.
Sitole said while the SAPS respects the rights of people to protest, as it is enshrined in the Constitution, all forms of violence must be condemned in the strongest possible way by all sectors of society.
“The behaviour by the protesters has done nothing more than to undermine the authority of the State. The visuals of the burning police Nyala does not augur well for the development of the grand economic strategy of our country,” said Sitole.
Sitole said this type of behaviour won’t be tolerated and those responsible will be held to account in terms of the law. They will be identified and brought to book as soon as possible.
Anyone who has any information is urged to call the SAPS Crime Stop at 086 00 10111. Callers may remain anonymous and all information will be treated with the strictest confidence.