More blue light thuggery

2010-02-19 00:00

PUBLIC outrage over alleged abuse of power by some members of the VIP Protection Unit continues unabated following a report about the latest incident which took place in Durban on Tuesday.

Congress of the People’s (Cope) Youth Movement’s provincial secretary Ntuthuko Dumakuda said their provincial chairperson Mthokozisi Myende alleged that on Tuesday he was threatened at gunpoint by a member of the Unit in the Greenwood area, Durban.

Myende alleged that he was a bystander at a car accident in which the VIP Protection unit member was involved.

It is alleged that the VIP policeman caused the accident, but he denied this at the scene.

Myende, who witnessed the incident, pointed out that the officer had been at fault. The policeman is then alleged to have drawn his service pistol, put it to Myende’s head, and threatened to shoot him.

A shaken Myende has laid charges at the Greenwood Park police station of crimen injuria and pointing a firearm against the policeman, Dumakude said.

Yesterday The Witness reported that a prominent local businessman’s car was forced off the road by a charcoal grey Mercedes Benz with blue lights on the back and front.

A series of other alleged road rage incidents involving vehicles bearing blue lights had been reported.

“This was a clear abuse of power,” says Myende.

“We are concerned about the message being sent by government with their ‘shoot to kill’ instruction. It appears that some members of the police are taking this instruction literally, and are using it to intimidate bystanders.”

“We are also concerned to note that the government has on many occasions prevented the media from reporting incidents where innocent people have been caught in crossfire. I am very grateful that I was not shot, but this policeman was trained to protect the innocent, not use his service pistol to threaten them.”

Provincial SAPS spokeswoman Director Phindile Radebe confirmed that the incident had been reported and that a case had been opened at Greenwood police station.

She said police are investigating and no arrests have been made so far.

Radebe declined to comment on the increase of incidents involving vehicles bearing police blue lights.

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