Pretoria – Police Minister Nathi Nhleko says police accept constructive criticism from society but will not accept unfair, malicious and personal criticism.
He said this on Tuesday while briefing media in Pretoria on a number of issues relating to police and policing in South Africa, which are in the public and media space. The Minister felt that the issues needed to be clarified.
The Minister said from time to time, some sections of South African communities criticise police actions for a number of reasons.
“We accept this criticism as an important aspect of our people’s freedom of expression and popular oversight. It releases social wisdom, it frees the people’s voices, helping to expose angles that could be blind spots to law enforcement practitioners, and brings about constructive criticism.
“However, recently we have witnessed what we consider to be unfair, malicious and personal criticism,” he said.
He said if members of the public or any organisation feel that they have a grievance regarding the work or acts of police, they have the right to approach the courts.
“When South Africans are unhappy about some of our actions, let them challenge us in court and other institutions… Where courts clarify issues, society benefits, including the police,” he said.
He said police have an obligation to lead well to the best of their abilities.