Cops to lay more charges against Noordgesig protesters

2011-06-15 09:18

Orlando police officers have been threatening to lock-up residents of Noordgesig who want to lay charges against them.

This was after the residents took to the streets against electricity outages last week.

Viniser Paile (47) was shot on her right leg, above her knee, on her way back from work on Wednesday.

An angry Paile said: “I was just standing there. They had no right to shoot me.”

She went to the police station to open a case on Friday but couldn’t because “the officer on duty said they were under strict instructions that whoever comes to lay a charge must not be allowed and must be locked up”, so instead I walked away.

Today, instead of first going to the clinic to get her wound cleaned, Paile opted to go to the police station to try open a case again. But she still did not receive any joy.

As she was trying to get help from Warrant Officer B. Nzama, another officer remarked as he walked past: “They belong in the cells if they were shot in Noordgesig, amen.”

Paile was accompanied by Mark Trimble, founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Affected People, who after 15 minutes of not getting any service, made a phone call to the police station commander, Brigadier Zwanga.

Trimble told Zwanga that Nzama said he was going to lock-up Paile after she made her statement but Nzama denied saying so a few minutes later.

Zwanga reassured Trimble that police officers were under no instruction not to take statements from the residents who were injured during protests.

Paile left the police station shortly after the call because she was unsure of her rights and whether or not she would be locked up.

Zwanga added that they have laid charges against two people who were at the scene of the illegal gathering and public violence.

“We also have a right to lay charges,” he said. “And if all goes well, we are still going to arrest more people.”

The first-accused was arrested last Wednesday and the second on Friday.

Regarding police stopping people from laying charges, Zwanga said: “I know of no such cases where people have been denied the opportunity to lay charges. They (officers) should not (do that) because we were anticipating people to come in and do so.”

He also denied Trimble’s allegations that the police fired rubber bullets at protesters from two helicopters on Friday evening.

Trimble is pursuing the matter further with the Independent Complaints Directorate and the National Prosecuting Authority.

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