Fear of cops: why it's growing

By admin
03 September 2010

Exactly what led to the events of that night is still a mystery. But one thing is certain: when the paths of two men crossed in Pretoria, the night ended in tragedy.

One is dead; the other’s life in ruins. Metro policeman Johannes Mogale’s life ended abruptly on a Pretoria street in the early hours of 27 August. The 38-year-old cop was allegedly badly beaten by Blue Bulls prop Jacobus “Bees” Roux.

It was the day Johannes’ son, Boitshepo, celebrated his ninth birthday – but there was no party for him and his sisters, Thato (15) and Oreabetse (3). Their dad and the family’s only breadwinner was dead and their mom, Margaret (35), devastated by grief.

And the young rugby player who had a promising career ahead of him faces a murder charge. He’s a final-year property evaluation student at Unisa and was tipped to be chosen for the Springboks.

Now he could spend 15 years in jail. The only thing that seems fairly certain is that at around 2 am that morning Roux was pulled over for alleged drunk driving.

Mogale, according to his Metro Police colleagues, got in the car with Roux to drive him home – but the rugby player believed it was to rob him of his car.

The next thing, according to a security guard at a nearby car dealership, two figures tumbled out of the moving vehicle. Roux was apprently on top of Mogale.

He was furious and attacking the policeman so viciously two students who tried to intervene couldn’t get him off Mogale, the security guard says.

Whatever the truth, this incident again touches on a sore point in South African society: growing mistrust of the police and fear of the people meant to protect us.

The full article appears in the YOU of 9 September 2010

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