Beaten by cops for ‘being black’

2013-04-14 14:01

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A former government spokesperson says he was beaten by police officers in a Joburg grocery store. His “crime”? He was one of only two black people in the shop.

Khulekani Ntshangase has accused the Fairlands police of brutality after they allegedly beat him up at a supermarket on Friday night.

Ntshangase says the police officers arrived at the Seven Eleven shop in the Randburg suburb of Fairlands while he and a friend, Nkanyiso Khumalo, were shopping for groceries.

The police then ordered them to lie down and beat them up, he claims.

Ntshangase, a former spokesperson of the ANC Youth League and the ministry of home affairs, is a businessman. He still had a bleeding cut over his left eye when City Press met him at his home in Fairlands yesterday.

Ntshangase said that while lying down, he raised his head to ask what was happening. “One cop jumped on top of my head and body. What angers me is that I could hear on the (police) radio someone is being robbed on the corner of Seventh and Eleventh avenue.

“More cops arrived, and I kept saying, ‘You’ve got the wrong guy’. Another one threatened to shoot me with an R5 (rifle). Our crime was buying groceries and being the only black people in the shop,” he said.

He said when the police realised they had made a mistake, they promised to take him to hospital.

Instead, he and Khumalo say they were taken to Fairlands Police Station and detained overnight.

He said the police refused to allow them to press criminal charges against the officers they claim assaulted them, or to consult their lawyer, while they were being held at the police station.

Khumalo confirmed Ntshangase’s version of events and said the police had “ambushed” them “for no apparent reason”.

They plan to lay a complaint with the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) tomorrow.

Seven Eleven spokesperson Fernando Batista yesterday said he had not yet seen Friday night’s CCTV footage of the alleged incident.

He said he would only see it tomorrow.

Gauteng police spokesperson Katlego Mogale said the police were responding to a robbery at the store when they met the two men.

“They were arrested for being drunk and disorderly. The allegations that they were beaten up and refused legal representation are viewed in a serious light and will be investigated internally as well as by Ipid.”

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