Ban the blue light mafia – Ian Cameron

Civil rights group Action Society’s Ian Cameron has launched a petition for a ban on the South African Police’s “Blue Light Mafia”. This after a video went viral on Twitter showing SAPS VIP Protection officers violently assaulting unarmed civilians on the N1 highway. Deputy President Paul Mashatile has now confirmed that those officers are attached to his detail. “Paul Mashatile criticising an incident like this is the same as (Colombian drug lord) Pablo Escobar condemning drug trafficking. It makes no sense,” Cameron says. He says the incident is part of a culture that has been engraved in the very being of VIP Protection Services – and that has been a problem for years on end. – Chris Steyn

Sign up for your early morning brew of the BizNews Insider to keep you up to speed with the content that matters. The newsletter will land in your inbox at 5:30am weekdays. Register here.


Watch here

Relevant timestamps from the interview

  • 00:00 – On the viral video showing SAPS VIP protection officers violently assaulting unarmed civilians on the N1 highway
  • 00:25 – On Deputy President Paul Mashatile acknowledging that the officers were a part of his security detail
  • 02:45 – On the fact that this is not an isolated incident
  • 04:26 – On the training and ability of the SAPS VIP protection unit
  • 05:37 – On the action taken by Action Society
  • 08:43 – On discussions with the families of the victims

Listen here


Highlights from the interview

Civil rights group Action Society’s Ian Cameron is mobilising for a ban of the South African Police’s “Blue Light Mafia”.

This after a video went viral on Twitter showing SAPS VIP Protection officers violently assaulting unarmed civilians on the N1 highway.

Deputy President Paul Mashatile has now confirmed that those officers are attached to his detail. 

“Paul Mashatile criticising an incident like this is the same as (Colombian drug lord) Pablo Escobar condemning drug trafficking. It makes no sense,” Cameron says.

“…his reputation exceeds him with regard to this type of behaviour. So, him condemning it, in my opinion, doesn’t mean much.

“You know, Paul Mashatile saying this is an unfortunate incident. Paul, this is not unfortunate. This is a culture that has been engraved in the very being of VIP Protection Services. This has been a problem for years on end.”

Following the incident, Action Society launched a petition for a ban on the “Blue Light Brigades”.

“We call them the Blue Light Mafia because it just seems like they are a step above the rest of us. In fact, they’re on a pedestal. They can do whatever they like when they want to because they have special political protection that you and I will never enjoy…”

Cameron says if he were the National Commissioner, he would have arrested all those members already.

Meanwhile, Action Society is in touch with the family of the victims to assist them and ensure they are not intimidated.

In its reaction, The Presidency issued this statement: “The Deputy President has become aware of an unfortunate incident involving  between members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) who are attached to his protection detail and civilians, which occurred in Johannesburg over the weekend.

“The Deputy President abhors any unnecessary use of force, particularly against unarmed civilians. The National Commissioner of the SAPS, General Fannie Masemola, has promised a thorough investigation of the incident and articulated the conduct expected of police officers very well.

“Members of the SAPS are meant to uphold and protect the fundamental rights of every person and exercise the powers conferred upon them in a responsible and controlled manner,” he said. The Deputy President fully endorses these sentiments.

“The Deputy President appeals to the public to allow the SAPS the necessary space to complete its investigation into the incident and take whatever corrective action is deemed necessary. The Deputy President has full confidence in the SAPS under the leadership of Minister Bheki Cele and the command of General Masemola to do the right thing in this regard.”

Read also:

Visited 3,874 times, 6 visit(s) today