Colleagues assaulted junior cop, say police

2010-07-23 00:00

TWO senior officers at a police station at Estcourt are facing assault charges after they allegedly “severely” assaulted a junior member at the police station late last month.

The police constable, whose name cannot be disclosed, resumed work today after being on sick leave following the alleged assault at Wembezi police station on June 20.

It is alleged that the two seniors accused the man of coming to work drunk.

The constable said he cannot talk to The Witness for fear of being reprimanded, and would only confirm that he was on leave.

His colleagues spoke on his behalf.

“They assaulted him badly in the morning in the office [of one of the senior officers]. One senior started the assault and he was later joined by another senior. They both accused him of being drunk at work.

“But there had always been bad blood between the two seniors and the constable because a few months ago one of the seniors pointed a service firearm at the constable,” said a source, who is an officer at the same station.

The names of the two seniors cannot be disclosed as they have not yet appeared in court to plead.

The source said the assault began in the office, but ended up at the community service centre in front of members of the public.

“It was a very embarrassing moment for the officers when police officers were seen fighting by the public,” said the source.

Police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane confirmed that a case of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm against the two senior police officers was opened at Wembezi police station on June 20.

Zwane could not comment further, saying the case is still under investigation.

The source said an investigating officer has referred the matter to the senior public prosecutor.

Another source, who is also a police officer, alleged that it is common for police officers at the station to assault and threaten each other with firearms at work.

When contacted for comment, the two senior officers denied the allegations. One said he was not prepared to talk about the matter because it is an internal issue.

“Only Brigadier [Phindile] Radebe can talk to you about this,” said the officer.

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