PMB CPF boss hit in the face

2016-02-15 15:19
Jay Jugwanth

Jay Jugwanth (Supplied)

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Pietermaritzburg - A police officer and the chairperson of a local Community Policing Forum (CPF) have decided to lay charges of assault against one another after an incident at the Mountain Rise police station last Friday.

Vocal and charismatic CPF chairperson Jay Jugwanth claims he was punched in the face by an on-duty police officer in the Community Service Centre (CSC) while he was assisting a local attorney on Friday night.

However, acting station commander Colonel Boxer Pillay said the police officer claims he was first pushed by Jugwanth.

Both parties said they would be opening cases at the station today.

In a statement to The Witness yesterday, Jugwanth said he was called to the station by local attorney Surendra Singh for assistance as Singh was “disappointed” at the treatment he was getting from police officers at the station.

“I went to the station and on entering the CSC I noticed [a captain] shouting at Singh above his voice. I intervened and listened to both Singh and the captain, who was still belligerent and not displaying any Batho Pele principles,” said Jugwanth.

Singh was querying information on a court order regarding one of his clients. In addition, two police officers had allegedly visited Singh’s house earlier in the day and Singh was at the station also querying who the officers were and the reason they were looking for him.

Jugwanth said the captain refused to release any details, saying they should wait for his supervisor to come to the station.

“We [Singh and Jugwanth] waited outside in the dark car park for the shift control supervisor, who arrived some 20 minutes later.

“He was accompanied by the two police officers [who allegedly visited Singh’s house],” Jugwanth said.

He said that Singh requested the names of the police officers, however when they refused to give their names verbally, Jugwanth suggested they go into the station where they could write down the names from their badges.

“The policeman next to me threw a pen and scrap of paper and told me to write the names down. As I looked at his badge, he punched me in the face for no reason,” said Jugwanth.

Jugwanth said the “unprovoked assault” left him “shocked” and the police officer was allegedly told to go behind the desk to cool down.

“I am a very traumatised and a broken man from the assault. Likewise my family is saddened too, but it is business as usual as I do not get intimidated,” said Jugwanth.

In an affidavit by Singh, he claims that when Jugwanth was punched, he attempted to intervene.

“I request that criminal charges be opened against him [the police officer] for punching Jay Jugwanth and for grabbing and twisting my right hand when I intervened to prevent him from assaulting Jugwanth any further,’ said Singh in his affidavit.

He added that the officer should also face charges of crimen injuria for calling Singh a “liar” and a “thief” and allegedly threatening arrest. Jugwanth said he would not be resigning from his position as CPF chairperson as he is “committed to see justice prevail and the community feel safe and get the service delivery they are entitled to”.

“There are policemen with a terrible attitude towards the public and I remain committed to working for a better station that I promised the community,” said Jugwanth.

He added that he will be requesting SAPS transport to and from the station as he fears his vehicle would be “damaged” if parked at the station. “I have come to accept that when one is serious about changing the image of Mountain Rise, it comes at a price,” added Jugwanth.

Acting station commander, Colonel Boxer Pillay said that he would be investigating the matter and has advised Jugwanth and the police officer to open cases.

“I do know about the allegations as Jay Jugwanth did report it to me. We do not condone ill discipline from our members, so if the allegations prove to be true then serious disciplinary action would be taken. However at the moment we just need to get to the bottom of the story,” said Pillay.

• kailene.pillay@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  assault

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