Municipal DVD bust backfires

2010-11-03 00:00

MSUNDUZI municipal security officers have been accused of accepting bribes, swearing at a local businessman, and pepper-spraying, beating up and stabbing two men who sell pirated DVDs last week.

The brother of one of the men who was stabbed alleged that the security guards arrived at Symons Centre in Church Street on Tuesday last week to conduct a raid on sellers of fake DVDs.

But instead of confiscating the DVDs, he said they accepted a bribe and some DVDs, which they sold on.

“The security guards came back later in the afternoon wanting to confiscate the rest of the DVDs”, the man added, but the sellers retaliated “because they had already given the guards a bribe”.

“The municipal security guards then pepper-sprayed them and beat them up. They stabbed the first guy before turning on my brother who had just arrived.

“They accused my brother of stabbing one of the security guards, which is a lie because he was not even around when this mayhem started and CCTV cameras can prove this.”

The man said a case has been opened against the municipal security officers.

Lenny Naicker. the owner of Multiserv at Symons Centre, said, “On Tuesday just after 4 pm I witnessed a municipal security guard pepper- spray a DVD seller at the front of my store.

“After spraying him in the face, the guy fell to the ground and the security officer then assaulted him while he was on the floor.”

He said the gas quickly spread through the mall and many people in the centre suffered from the effects of the gas.

Naicker said, “I approached the municipal vehicle which was waiting for them, parked in Church Street. I identified myself as being the owner of Multiserv and asked the officer who was about to drive from the scene why they had used pepper spray in the mall.

“He then told me that it was him who sprayed the gas. I told him that I was going to report him.”

Naicker said that as he passed the front of the van a security officer who was seated in the front of the vehicle, rolled down his window and called him a racially derogative name and swore at him.

Naicker said he reported the incident to the municipal authorities, but that they showed no interest in what had happened to him, so he decided to consult his attorney, Kethon Subbrem.

“I have since opened a case of crimen injuria against the municipality and my attorney is going to sue the city,” said Naicker.

Brian Zuma, acting marketing and public relations manager for Msunduzi Municipality, said, “The law must take its course.”

He said anyone with information about municipal guards conducting unlawful acts should report it to the municipality.

Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joey Jeevan confirmed a businessman has opened a case of crimen injuria and that a man who was stabbed has opened a case of assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm. She said no arrests have yet been made.

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