Cape cop unit facing torture charges

2010-08-16 13:23

Cape Town - The Independent Complaints Directorate were investigating 29 complaints of torture, one of which allegedly resulted in the death of a person, against the Organised Crime Unit at Bellville South in Cape Town.

The ICD's Western Cape head Thabo Leholo said at a media briefing in Cape Town on Monday 14 members of the unit were being investigated.

"These 29 complaints of assault, GBH (grievous bodily harm), torture -these matters are arising out of the same unit," he said.

"This act of torture resulted in the death of one person and injury to another two people."

Leholo said the ICD made recommendations to the police management that disciplinary steps be taken against the members.

Most of the cases were referred to Director of Public Prosecutions for a decision, he said.

Man beaten with brick

"We are waiting for a decision (on) whether to prosecute those members or not," Leholo said.

"It is up to police management whether they take those recommendations and do something about that. We cannot force them to act in a particular manner.

Leholo said the ICD have highlighted the shortcomings and interventions that they thought should be done in their recommendations.

In a separate case, Leholo said two permanent police officers and six reservists were due to appear in the Western Cape High Court on September 17 on charges of murder, kidnapping and assault after they allegedly beat a man to death in Khayelitsha in September 2009.

"It is alleged that two permanent members and six reserve members assaulted a member of the public by kicking and hitting him with a brick," he said.

"The victim was transported to the Khayelitsha police station where individual members again assaulted him in full view of other police members and administration staff."

The officers were arrested after the man died in hospital.