I’ve come across Superintendent Glen Nayager of the Sydenham branch of the South African Police service before, when he stole my camera and shot my mates.
Last week, we had rather a large protest in Durban, and I found myself in the shack settlements at 6 a.m., having a discussion with The Super about the jurisprudence of the Regulation of Gatherings Act. He was trying to ban the march, and I was trying to point out that he was in breach of the act. It took a High Court interdict to persuade him, and I’ve no doubt that, next time, he’ll behave just as badly. But at least we won this time. Last time, the police opened fire, with live rounds. (They did this last week after the elections, shooting in the back, and killing, a passer-by.)
And Nayager has, of course, behaved far worse, having been at Chatsworth Police Station when a deaf man, coming into the nick to lay a charge, was mistaken as drunk and insubordinate, and then was beaten to death. (Richard Pithouse has stories of some of Nayager’s colleagues here). It was this that got Nayager transferred from Chatsworth to Sydenham.
Shannon Walsh, who’s down with us at the Centre for Civil Society, managed to capture the fun and games here, together with a photo that I’m so proud of, I’ve decided to nick it. Do read Shannon’s account. It’s gripping stuff. And the rest of her blog wins her a place in the blogroll there on the right.