Western Cape Minister of Community Safety: Police brutality must never be tolerated

07 March 2014 | Road Safety Highlights


After watching a video of severe police brutality that was sent to me this morning and which has gone viral on social media, I immediately contacted the South African Police Service (SAPS) demanding the immediate suspension of the officers involved and have asked for a report by the close of business today.
 
I have also taken this matter up with the IPID and requested a full investigation. The Constitution obliges the IPID to investigate any matter referred to it by a provincial executive and I trust that their investigation will be swift and thorough. 
 
The incident apparently took place on Riebeek Street in the CBD yesterday morning at 8am. The two police officers are seen in the video removing the man’s clothing until he appears to be naked and after which officers punch and kick the man in his groin area repeatedly.
 
I condemn such behaviour by the police and as part of my police oversight role have called on the Western Cape Police Commissioner, General Arno Lamoer, to immediately suspend all officers involved in this incident pending a full investigation.
 
This man has been assaulted, publicly humiliated, his dignity has been violated, and several of his basic human rights were violated. There is no place in a civilised society for this kind of brutality, and I applaud the brave members of the public for speaking up about this incident. We must never tolerate police brutality. The police are there to protect us, and if they fail to do so, we must speak up. Members of the public are encouraged to call our 24/7 policing complaints hotline should they wish to report any poor policing in their community on 021 483 4332.
 
Initial reports have suggested that one of the women who observed and filmed the brutality was arrested by one of the offending officers. If this is true, then the officer should be charged for defeating the ends of justice. What South Africa needs is a police service that is community oriented and accountable to the public. We live in a free and democratic society and the arrest of a citizen for filming an officer committing a crime can and must never be tolerated.
 
Furthermore, all officers at this station should receive additional training to ensure that this type of incident does not occur again. There are humane ways in which an officer can deal with anyone resisting arrest, what happened yesterday morning is never the correct way.
 
Media enquiries:
Minister of Community Safety, Dan Plato
Cell: 076 832 5505
 
Spokesperson for Minister Plato, Greg Wagner

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