NW police brutality an embarrassment - Mthethwa

Friday, March 15, 2013

Pretoria - Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa has described the latest incident of alleged police brutality in Lomanyaneng, in the North West, as an embarrassment to the South African Police Service (SAPS).

Mthethwa, who added his voice to the chorus condemning the on-going alleged police brutality, said police officers should be working with communities, fighting crime within the framework of the law and not abusing the law.

“We condemn any act of police brutality as such incidents are not what we want to see or want to become accustomed to, in a democracy that is bound by the rule of law, and where we have many dedicated police officers who continue to serve with excellence.

“We must all as society mobilise and sustain a campaign against any allegations of police brutality and lawlessness, across all spheres of society. 

“Critical in fighting crime is the campaign to weed out elements within the criminal justice system who are engaged in various acts of crime, even if it involves our own officers,” he said.

The police in the province arrested their colleague aged 37, after he allegedly grabbed a complainant by his neck and further dragged him with a state vehicle for about 100 metres.

The complainant had, according to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID), advised a boy whom he purportedly saw police harassing while on his way to a tuck shop at around 20:30pm in Setlopo village.

After the police had finished talking to the boy, the complainant had called the boy to advise him about what to do should he feel that he was treated badly by the police.  

The victim, who happens to be a court interpreter at Molopo Magistrate’s Court, sustained injuries to his feet during the incident and was taken to hospital by his neighbour. He has since been discharged from the hospital.

It is alleged that the sergeant had allegedly asked him (the victim) if he knew what police were capable of these days.

Police provincial spokesperson, Brigadier Thulani Ngubane, said a case of assault with intention to do grievous bodily harm has been opened against the 37-year-old sergeant.

Ngubane said the police officer who was on duty in full police uniform and driving a marked state vehicle was arrested on Wednesday and will appear before the Mmabatho Magistrate’s Court on Friday.

Minister Mthethwa has urged all in society to afford the criminal justice system space to deal with the case, adding that he has confidence that the courts will reveal the truth of what transpired. - SAnews.gov.za