SA Plans to Supply ‘Non-Lethal’ Crowd Control Equipment to Zimbabwe

Providing equipment to control crowds non-lethally would help Zimbabwe avoid deaths of protesters like those recently killed with live ammunition, allegedly by the army.

South Africa is planning to supply Zimbabwe with non-lethal crowd control equipment to help it avoid deaths in dealing with protests like those which erupted in January.

International Relations and Co-operation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said on Tuesday that this was one of the measures Pretoria was considering to help its neighbour manage its current political and economic crisis.

She said at a media briefing in Pretoria that non-lethal crowd control equipment would “lessen the spillover in dealing with unhappy people”.

Six Zimbabwean citizens were shot dead, apparently by soldiers, in protests in Harare which erupted in August 2018, directly after the controversial elections which were officially won by Zanu-PF. And human rights groups have estimated that about 10 people died in protests in January 2019, sparked by a 150% increase in fuel prices.

Sisulu told Daily Maverick in an interview on Tuesday that Zimbabwe’s problem was that because the police lacked the proper equipment to control crowds non-lethally, they were handing over the responsibility to the army which only had live ammunition for dealing with protests….

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