Off-duty cops ‘let hate killers escape’

2012-08-11 18:03

Two police officers allegedly allowed the assailants in a North West hate murder to escape – because they were off duty.

City Press has learned that two police officers arrived at the scene in Magaliesburg where 25-year old Mohamed Faiyaz Kazi had sustained a brutal, 20-minute beating that eventually led to his death on Tuesday.

The officers declined to arrest the perpetrators and simply gave Kazi and his business-partner, Anser Mahmood, who was also assaulted, directions to the police station.

The incident – which has sparked condemnation from across South Africa – took place on Monday at the Magaliesburg Chicken Licken.

Kazi and Mahmood had entered the shop to get food on their way back to Ventersdorp, where they lived. An altercation started when an Afrikaans-speaking man in the shop said “Here’s Bin Laden” when Kazi walked into the shop.

Trevor Buthelezi, a waiter at a nearby restaurant who witnessed the incident, said: “The big white guy was the only one participating in the attack, but one of his friends, also a white guy, was standing there cheering him on.

“He (Kazi) was screaming for him to stop and kept on asking why he was doing this. But the white guy just kept going.”

Faiyaz had always maintained a beard as a symbol of his devotion to Islam.

“When the police arrived they spoke to the Indian guys, but never even seemed to question the attacker and his friend. They were just standing around and didn’t seem intimidated by them (the police),” says Buthelezi.

“The Indian guys asked why they weren’t arresting the attacker, but they said they couldn’t as they were off duty. They told the Indian guys, who were both bleeding a lot, to open a case at the nearby police station, got in their van and drove off.”

A distraught Hashimbhay Motara, Kazi’s father-in-law, told City Press he was “really disturbed that police (had) taken this nonchalant attitude, not knowing what the repercussions would be”.

“The neurosurgeon told us that if Kazi had immediately been taken from there to hospital he could’ve been helped,” said Motara.

Motara told City Press that after the assault, Kazi asked the police to arrest the men who assaulted them.

“(Kazi) said to them, ‘why are you sending us to the police station when you saw what happened? Why don’t you arrest them here?’”

Motara said his son-in-law was then told: “No, we know who they are, you must go make a statement at the police station”.

Kazi was rushed to the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto.

“The Baragwanath neurosurgeons said there was nothing they could do, that he was braindead already,” said Motara.

Sajidah, Kazi’s wife of just one year and a teacher in Ventersdorp, held his hand all the time, pleading with him to “open his eyes”, said Motara.

She could only manage to say, “I think about him a lot and I miss him a lot, a lot,” before breaking down.

Brigadier Neville Malila, Gauteng police spokesperson, confirmed that officers arrived at the scene and “asked the two victims if they wanted to lay charges . . . they didn’t want to lay any charges so they said ‘okay guys, come to the police station’.”

Malila said the assault did not happen in the presence of the officers and no one could be arrested if no charges had been laid.

 

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