‘Police assaulted, shocked and threw me into a thorny tree’

2011-05-04 11:14

Police officers in Limpopo allegedly subjected a man to electric shocks in the genitals, assaulted and threw him into a thorny tree in an attempt to force a murder confession out of him.

Maphake James Moswane of Ga-Masemola village in Sekhukhune was suspected of murdering a taxi driver during a spate of taxi-violence-related killings in the area in 2007.

According to Moswane’s medical record, he sustained serious injuries all over his body, including the genitals.

Police watchdog body, the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD), is investigating Moswane’s case.

A December 2007 letter to Moswane showed that the ICD’s senior investigator in Limpopo, Nakiseni Mulaudzi, had been assigned the case.

Moswane said the case was supposed to be heard again this week but was postponed.

“The police repeatedly kicked, shocked me on my private parts and forced me to admit that I killed the taxi driver. They then threw me into thorny bushes,” said Moswane, adding his right half of the body has not functioned properly since the incident.

The ICD is also investigating Nebo police officers for allegedly failing to probe an attempted murder case against 12 taxi drivers and owners accused of kidnapping, assaulting and throwing Puuba Madileng out of a moving car before torching his taxi in 2007.

Madileng said the police called him, only after he complained to the provincial police commissioner’s office, to an identity parade, where he identified the suspects.

“Even today I have never been called to court. When I call the police about the case they start behaving as if I am bothering them,” Madileng said.

Two weeks ago, police from Mutale, outside Thohoyandou, allegedly shot Dowelani Netshituni in the abdomen while searching for suspected car hijacker Aubrey Mudau.

“Instead of ordering us to raise our hands, they started shooting immediately after coming out of their van,” said Netshituni.

In February, an officer from the Masisi police station allegedly followed Moloko Setjie (20) home in Madimbo and shot him dead in full view of his family members for having failed to stop his car when flagged down.

Limpopo police spokesperson Hangwana Mulaudzi said Netshituni and Isaac Nemandivhe were injured when a gun they were trying to grab from one of the officers went off while Mudau was firing at the police.

Mulaudzi said provincial police commissioner Amon Mashego was concerned about officers taking the law into their own hands. He said the commissioner warned the police that one day they would be on their own to defend themselves in court if they continued to act illegally.

National police chief Bheki Cele defended the police, saying it was unfair to paint everyone with the same brush because of recent cases of suspected police brutality.

However, he made it clear police had a duty to ensure ordinary people were not harmed unnecessarily.

Cele has since sent more than 8?500 crowd control officers on a refresher course.

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