Outrage as blind busker dragged away

2013-07-09 09:05
Lunga Goodman Nono (Claudia Dijkkamp, News24)

Lunga Goodman Nono (Claudia Dijkkamp, News24)

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Cape Town - An incident in which a blind busker was forcefully removed from St George's Mall in central Cape Town on Monday is to be investigated.

The Cape Times reported that outraged bystanders watched as metro police officers manhandled the well-known busker while removing him from his regular position on the pedestrian street, which is popular with tourists and city workers.

Lunga Goodman Nono, 51, is facing a R1 500 fine for contravening a by-law by busking outside his permitted time and refusing to stop. He was put in a police van and taken to a police station.

Guitar broken

His wife, Abigail, told the newspaper she begged the metro police officers to leave him alone but they refused. They also broke his guitar.

Nono said he was hurt in the incident. "I would really like to tell those police that I did not rob anyone, or break into anyone's house. I'm playing to support my family. There is nothing else I can do to support my family. They must just let me work," the Cape Times quoted him as saying.

"How they dragged me on the ground and tore my clothes, that hurt me. It broke my heart."

The couple have lodged a complaint against the metro police.

City of Cape Town mayoral member for safety and security JP Smith told the Cape Times that Nono had "repeatedly disregarded regulations and was verbally abusive to our officials for months, thus resulting in multiple warnings being issued to him".

Noise nuisance

He added that the officers were forced to detain Nono and his wife "for causing a noise nuisance and failing to obey instructions".

Smith added that disciplinary action will be taken if the officers are found guilty of maltreatment or using excessive force.

Western Cape Community Safety MEC Dan Plato told EWN that an investigation will be launched into the alleged assault, and the incident is being viewed in a serious light as the vulnerable have to be protected.

"For five, six or seven officers to act against a blind person is not on. However, we don’t want to draw our own conclusions and anticipate the outcomes. Let’s have a full scale investigation."


- Were you there? Send us your eyewitness accounts and photos.

Read more on:    dan plato  |  jp smith  |  cape town  |  police brutality
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