House arrest for ex-cop over vagrant assault

2014-11-21 22:18
(Nielen de Klerk, News24)

(Nielen de Klerk, News24)

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Johannesburg - A former police warrant officer with 25 years' experience was placed under house arrest for a year on Friday for his involvement in an assault on a naked Nigerian man in a street in the Cape Town CBD in March.

Gerrit Januarie, 46, was also sentenced to two years' imprisonment, conditionally suspended for four years.

Cape Town District Court Magistrate Moegamad Esau further sentenced him to two years' correctional supervision, during which time he must attend prison treatment and rehabilitation programmes, perform 200 hours of community service, and not consume alcohol.

Januarie pleaded guilty and was found guilty of assaulting the vagrant with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm.

He initially appeared with his former colleague David Gunn, 53, who pleaded not guilty and will stand trial from 17 February. Gunn is out on bail of R1 500.

In March, a woman in a building in the Cape Town CBD made a cellphone recording of the alleged incident in the street below.

The video clip was posted online and went viral on social media.

Gunn was dismissed from the police after disciplinary action, but Januarie resigned before disciplinary action could be taken against him.

According to the court record, Gunn and Januarie responded to a complaint of an attempted armed robbery at the Sky nightclub on the night of 6 March.

The owner alleged that a naked, homeless man, Clement Eneh, who was outside in the street, had tried to attack him with a small axe.

The State alleges that Gunn and Januarie hit and kicked the man, before bundling him into the back of their patrol vehicle.

"You and your co-accused completely lost yourselves," Esau told Januarie.

According to defence attorney Jacqui Muller, the court had accepted that Januarie merely hit the man on the back of his neck with his elbow, and thus played a minor role in the incident.

Esau said violent crime in South Africa had reached endemic proportions, and that the community expected it to be severely punishment.

He said Januarie had "thrown away" 25 years of service in the police, and that the prosecution and the defence had agreed that the circumstances did not justify a prison sentence.

Read more on:    police  |  cape town  |  police brutality  |  crime

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