Richmond cops accused of ‘tubing’ security guard

2012-01-20 00:00

ALLEGATIONS of intimidation and assault have been levelled against the Richmond police after an early morning raid on Wednesday morning left a security guard severely beaten.

Mzothule Shange, who works for a security company, was on guard duty when four police vehicles arrived and detained him over an illegal firearm charge.

“They then went with me to my girlfriend’s house and after carrying out a comprehensive search, did not find what they were looking for,” said Shange.

Police then went to his house where they forcefully entered the property and again carried out another search where they didn’t find a firearm. Shange lives on the property of a well-known elderly Richmond resident with a number of other people who work for the property owner.

These people asked the police, who are known to them, why he was being detained.

Shange’s employer, who asked not to be named, told The Witness that events then took an ugly turn.

After the two unproductive searches, the police took Shange into the Inhlazuka Forest where they allegedly severely assaulted him and intimidated him, tactics similar to those used during apartheid days, said the employer.

“From what he told me they did to him, it was clear that the police used an intimidation technique called tubing on Shange.

“This is when you take a device and put it over the victims head to suffocate them.

“Just before the victim passes out they stop the process and continue questioning him.

“We thought this type of intimidation by the law died 18 years ago, yet it is still happening today,” said the employer.

After the forest assault, Shange took the police to his parents’ home under duress, where again they searched the house and did not find the firearm in question.

“After that they took him back to the forest where the assault continued. They used the tubing tactic on him again and then gave him a firearm, told him to run and threatened to shoot him if he didn’t give them the information they wanted. He refused to do this,” said the employer.

Shange was returned to his guard post at about 9 am where his employer took him to the hospital.

He added that when they went to the Richmond Police station to open a case, the officers were unhelpful and initially refused to open a case, verbally abusing the employer.

“It was only after we lodged a complaint at the Independent Complaints Directorate [ICD] that Richmond police were helpful.

“After an officer from ICD phoned the station, they opened a case,” said Du Plessis. Police spokesperson Lieutenant Joey Jeevan said the matter was under investigation.

“The SAPS in Richmond is investigating a case of common assault.

“These are serious allegations against members of the South African Police Services and will have to be substantiated and thoroughly investigated.

“On completion of the investigation the members responsible will be charged both criminally and departmentally,” said Jeevan.

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