Police probe ordered

The police launched an internal investigation after an oThongathi man was assaulted by cops. | Archives

The police launched an internal investigation after an oThongathi man was assaulted by cops. | Archives

Published Jun 24, 2024


Durban — Police management in KwaZulu-Natal launched an internal investigation after police members were accused of assaulting a man from oThongathi, north of Durban, recently.

The victim, who cannot be identified for now, has opened a case of assault against police officers.

According to reports, the man alleges that those who harassed him were part of the national Public Order Police deployment to the province.

In reaction to the incident, provincial commissioner Lieutenant-General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi has ordered a probe into the alleged irresponsible and unprofessional conduct by police officers who were caught by a CCTV camera assaulting a person during an operation in oThongathi on Friday night.

The statement issued by the police said the video showed some of the police officers participating in what could be described as an unprovoked act.

“In the video footage, a police officer can be seen hitting a man with an open hand in what appeared to be an unprovoked act.

“A little later on, several other police officers ganged up on the same victim and attacked him. One officer can be seen in the video kicking the man who was already down and stood on top of him,” said police spokesperson Colonel Robert Netshiunda.

He said the provincial commissioner, after watching the video, demanded a detailed report on what led to the attack on the man and ordered that corrective steps be taken against the officers found to have acted against the SAPS Code of Conduct and the country’s Constitution.

Mkhwanazi said police officers, in the execution of their duties, must be mindful of the Constitution and the Code of Conduct and must strive to uphold the law at all times.

“Police officers took an oath to protect and serve and, as such, they must never abuse the powers vested in them. Communities must be and feel safe in the presence of police officers and not be fearful of the very same officers who are supposed to be their source of refuge. Police can only retaliate with a proportional, minimum force if they find themselves under any form of attack,” said Mkhwanazi.

If the report pointed out certain wrongdoings by police officers, the officers concerned would face the wrath of internal corrective measures since no one was above the law, including police officers, he said.

The officers were believed to be part of the police deployment in the province in anticipation of civil unrest after the uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MKP) had rejected the election results. The MKP is still challenging the results through legal means.

Meanwhile, 58 members of the party will be sworn in on Tuesday in Parliament after the party boycotted the first sitting of the Parliament last week.

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