The Foundation for Equality Before the Law feels duty bound to respond to Mr. Makatse's reckless and provocative statements because they are dangerous and undermine efforts by many citizens in South Africa to build a society based on tolerance and harmony. Makatse’s wild statements are all the more disturbing as they come from a person trained in the law. He makes use of gross generalisations and clichés and makes no attempt to gather and analyse facts on specific instances of 'brutality' nor does he attempt any thorough or fair analysis of the situation he describes.
Makatse goes even further in his diatribe and while blaming the '...selfish and privileged white elite...' for bringing the Corona virus to our country, he goes on to allege that '....tragically our army and police treat white people with the highest levels of respect and dignity...' while, he alleges, the 'fundamentally un-transformed' police and army go about brutalising, degrading and even killing black people.
Makatse betrays his actual political objective when he says that the so-called 'apartheid/racialised brutality of our armed forces' has 'support from the top echelons of government' and that it is a 'symptom of a system that is born of structural economic inequality'. It thus becomes clear that Makatse is actually using the current situation in our country to whip up emotions and resentment, not only against those whom he describes as the white elite, but also against the government, its authority and the structure of the economy. Misbehaviour by individual members of the security forces has been condemned by government and investigations and even arrests have resulted. In the example, used by Makatse, of the death of the elderly man in the Western Cape, it transpired that this unfortunate death was as a result of a heart attack and not police action.
The reality is that it is not only individual members of the security forces who sometimes may transgress, but also individual members of the public. At this time all of us should be co-operating and doing all that we can to help get our country out of the situation we currently are faced with - not abusing the situation for dubious political ends and using emotion and racism to whip up discontent.