Crimen injuria, assault charges after slanging match

2011-09-28 00:00

A SLANGING match which led to charges of crimen injuria and assault being laid against two friends by a Loop Street police officer and a counter charge opened against the officer by the friends played out at that police station on Saturday evening.

Penny Zondo and her four friends were walking from a flat in Jabu Ndlovu (Loop) Street to catch a cab at the Caltex garage in Chief Albert Luthuli (Commercial) Road when one of the male friends threw a beer bottle on the side of the road.

Zondi alleged that a police vehicle that was in the area driven by a lone officer stopped and instructed the man to pick up the bottle.

She alleged that the man then put the bottle next to rubbish bags on the side of the same road.

“The officer then snapped, calling my friend a f****n black k*k and shouted at him to pick up the bottle. Another male friend said there was no black k*k among us and the officer started attacking the friend with a pepper spray.

“By then we were in front of the police station and there were officers who were just watching the incident,” alleged Zondi.

The friends ran towards Langalibalele Street and the officer followed them. A police vehicle and a van joined the officer and the man who contested against the name calling was arrested.

“I had a voice recording of the insults so I ensured my friend that I’d go to the station as I had recorded the incident with my phone.

“When the officer heard that he came for my phone and he pepper-sprayed and pushed me around until I lost grip of my phone. I was also arrested and spent the rest of the weekend in police cells,” she said.

By then three other friends had escaped.

She said when she got her phone back all the recording clips were deleted.

Pietermaritzburg police spokesperson Lieutenant Joey Jeevan said police are investigating cases of crimen injuria and assault on police against the suspects.

The two appeared in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday and were released on R200 bail each.

The case was remanded to October 6, 2011.

She said a counter charge of assault against the officer was opened by the suspects and is investigated. — Witness Reporter.

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