Daughter fuming after attack on officer

2015-05-25 12:12
(File, Sapa)

(File, Sapa)

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THE teenage daughter of a Pietermaritzburg traffic officer who was allegedly assaulted by a taxi driver, has expressed her outrage at citizen apathy.

“I can’t believe how witnesses just stood by and watched in a total lack of respect for authority,” said Juwairiyah Khan (16), daughter of NPC traffic officer Ali Khan.

Khan was allegedly attacked by a taxi driver last week after he tried to apprehend the driver for driving on an oncoming lane on Retief Street in the CBD.

Although Khan is prohibited from speaking to the media, his daughter, Juwairiyah, expressed her disbelief in a letter to The Witness yesterday.

“I’ve always thought that if you know what you are doing is wrong, then you should accept responsibility for your actions. Sadly this is not the case,” an outraged Juwairiyah said.

She spoke on the issue of a lack of respect for authority by locals.

Her anger was directed at both the taxi driver and two bystanders who allegedly attacked her father in the bustling city centre, while others watched without helping.

“Only one man came to his aid. If he [Khan] was an average citizen who was attacked, it is still peoples’ responsibility to help,” she said.

Juwairiyah said she only found out what had happened after she returned home from school and was “shocked and horrified” after hearing the news of her father’s attack.

“People should practise what they preach. People say the laws of the country should be followed, but the same people break the law on our roads every day,” she said.

“There is also a disregard and lack of respect for authorities. Witnesses knew he was a traffic officer who was just doing his job and only one man came to help”.

Speaking to The Witness after the incident last week Wednesday, municipal traffic head Kwenza Khumalo expressed the same sentiment, saying that citizens view authorities as their enemies.

“It is a mockery to our democracy that our citizens let this happen to those who protect them every day,” Khumalo said last week.

Khumalo could not be reached for comment yesterday.

In March, The Witness reported that six people were charged for knocking down traffic officers at major intersections in the city.

This is the letter Juwairiyah Khan wrote to The Witness:

It’s easy to say that police officers don’t do their job when they’re supposed to, but it’s not easy to come home hearing about your father being attacked.

Officers, like my father, leave home every day with the hope of returning in one piece. The incident left my family and friends unhappy.

The people of our city complain about the lack of traffic enforcement being carried out by traffic personnel, but don’t follow the laws themselves. Practise what you preach.

They say that officers are slacking off but don’t offer help in compromising situations. You’re a citizen of this city, but so are they. They protect you but who protects them?

Bulletproof vests and hand guns don’t always come in handy anymore. There are officers out there who actually do the work they are paid to do, but they don’t get paid to be abused by cowardly members of the public, who are intent on being arrogant, and who interfere with a situation that doesn’t involve them.

How is one officer supposed to fend off two other persons whilst trying to arrest someone?

Juwairiyah Khan

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