Businessmen allegedly assaulted in ‘torture room’

2014-09-23 00:00

TWO businessmen are recovering after allegedly being severely assaulted and tortured in what they described as a “torture room” at Mountain Rise police station.

They claim their ordeal was orchestrated by eight Mountain Rise police officers, who beat them in one case after they were ordered to sing, but refused.

The brothers spoke to The Witness after they were allegedly attacked on Sunday (September 14) at their sister’s house in Northdale.

This brings to three the separate incidents reported to The Witness where people were attacked at their homes in Pietermaritzburg by policemen recently.

“We are from out of town and had been in Pietermaritzburg to visit family members,” said one of the victims who did not want to be named to protect their business.

He said they had been out at a bar near his sister’s house when an argument broke out with two police officers.

“They wanted my brother to drive home but I told him we were going to walk because it was close by and we did not want to be nailed for drunk driving,” he said.

When they got back to their sister’s home, the brothers were then allegedly approached by the officers who had called for backup.

“I was dragged out of the house and shoved into a police minibus,” he said.

He said they smashed his foot with the minibus’ door leaving it swollen and fractured. “I can’t walk as a result,” he said. “When we were inside the minibus they then started punching, kicking and spraying us with tear gas on our way to the Mountain Rise police station.”

He said there they were put inside a “torture room” where they were tormented and severely beaten up before being transferred into the holding cells.

“We were denied medical assistance despite my family’s plea and we were also denied bail so we spent a night there,” he said.

He said police falsified charges by claiming they had been arrested for assaulting a police officer. “When they arrested us initially they had charged us for public disturbance but that changed when we were at the police station,” he said.

He had two black eyes and a bandage on his right foot.

He said he was left with three fractured ribs, two fractured toes and bruises on his wrists because of tightened handcuffs. “When we were inside the torture room, they told us to sing and when we refused, more beatings followed,” he said.

After the brothers appeared in court yesterday, the charges against them were dropped. “We opened a case in Mountain Rise and we are also following it up with IPID,” he said.

IPID spokesperson, Moses Dlamini said the incident will be investigated.

Justice Project South Africa (JPSA) chairperson Howard Dembovsky said, people should never try to fight with the police but must immediately report them to IPID.

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