'Police brutality' condemned after woman's death (28.04.11)

'Police brutality' condemned after woman's death (28.04.11)

By Tara Meaney & Andrea van Wyk

The Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation on Thursday condemned the latest incident of apparent police brutality.

Jeannette Odendaal was shot and killed, allegedly by a police officer, outside the Kempton Park Police Station on Tuesday night.

The circumstances surrounding the incident are still unclear with conflicting reports from witnesses.

Some say they heard gunshots before Odendaal's car crashed into a police van outside the station.

Others say she bumped into the vehicle and was then shot point blank by the officer.

He was immediately arrested and is expected to appear in court on Friday.

The centre's David Bruce said the incident is only a symptom of a much larger problem.

"It's further confirmation that there's a serious problem of misuse of force and particularly lethal force in the South African Police Service and that there's a need for the issue to be addressed in a much more serious and concerted way," he said.

The Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) and police have both launched investigations into the incident.

The incident comes two weeks after Andries Tatane was shot and beaten to death, allegedly by officers, during a Ficksburg service delivery protest.

National Police Commissioner General Bheki Cele's office said the recent allegations of police brutality should be seen as isolated incidents.

(Edited by Lindiwe Mlandu)

In Eyewitness News.

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CSVR is a multi-disciplinary institute that seeks to understand and prevent violence, heal its effects and build sustainable peace at the community, national and regional levels.

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