Safety dept to investigate police brutality

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Badplaas - The Mpumalanga Department of Community Safety, Security and Liaison has said it will investigate and take stringent action against any police officer found to have abused and tortured any member of the public.

Allegations of police brutality have been leveled against certain members of the Mayflower Police Station after the arrest of 12 suspects at different times on charges of public violence.

Apparently the suspects from the Dundonald area near Badplaas had visible scars after being assaulted. They had been protesting against the release of three people who were taken in for questioning in relation to the disappearance of a child who was later found dead with missing body parts on 4 August.

The suspects also claimed that some of the officers were drinking on duty and they had visited them at the holding cells while under the influence of alcohol where they were subjected to verbal and physical abuse.

MEC Sibongile Manana has condemned the incidents and has called on the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) to investigate fully the allegations of police brutality and general police conduct in the area

She urged the ICD to finalise their investigations as soon as possible so that the appropriate steps could be taken.

"Irrespective of the nature of allegations against any suspect, under no uncertain terms are police expected to take the law into their own hands. The police, as the custodians of the law of the country, did not have any right whatsoever to assault, abuse and insult them," said Manana.

Isolated acts of brutalities, especially when committed against youths, may lead to a distorted perception of the police. "There is possibility that some of them even in the future could be afraid to seek police assistance even when they need the most," said MEC Manana.

She said the department would constantly monitor progress with regard to the investigation and called on the community to come forward and assist with information so that the matter could be speedily resolved.