‘Police treated us appallingly’

2013-08-12 00:00

A CHATSWORTH family, whose home was searched for drugs and illegal guns, have opened a criminal case against a specialised police unit, claiming they were robbed and assaulted during the four-hour operation.

Suren Chetty (59) who lives in Umhlatu­zana, said up to 20 police officers arrived in several unmarked vehicles, broke his gate and stormed his house on the evening of Women’s Day.

He further claims that the police robbed his employee and planted evidence in his garden.

Police spokesperson Vincent Mdunge said police take the charge against fellow officers very seriously.

“A formal case has been opened at the Bayview police station. At this point the raid did not turn up any exhibits [that I have been made aware of]. We the police are here to enforce the law regardless of who is accused of breaking it. If needs be departmental action must be taken … and criminal charges must follow,” said Mdunge.

He said a gun allegedly found on the premises was never handed in to the local police station as “evidence”. Mdunge said this was “not normal procedure” and would be investigated.

He said police are permitted to carry out such raids if they feel there is sufficient evidence for them to do so.

Mdunge said he could not confirm which unit was involved in the raid, although Chetty claims it was the police’s Tactical Response Unit.

Chetty denies any involvement in the illegal gun trade or drug business.

“They just wanted to rob me. In my house my late mother’s jewellery went missing and my driver had R700 stolen when they raided his quarters.”

He said his daughter (22) was also assaulted and unnecessarily touched while standing in her nightgown.

“My daughters now sleep in the main bedroom with my wife and me as they are frightened that the police may return. My boerboel has not eaten since the raid. She was pepper-sprayed in the face. I am going to pursue this case until the very end. The treatment we received was completely unnecessary despite us having fully co-operated,” said Chetty.

• jonathan.erasmus@witness.co.za

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