Cops rough up driver

2010-05-21 00:00

A 19-YEAR-OLD man was allegedly assaulted verbally and physically by two traffic officers, locked up in a holding cell and charged with assault after he queried the parking fine they were issuing him yesterday.

Reseren Naidoo and his family claim that this was a racist attack because both officers who allegedly beat up Naidoo were black and used racially derogatory terms.

At about 9 am, Naidoo saw an officer approaching his parked car outside the supreme court on Church Street and approached her. “Admittedly I was parked in a no-parking zone, but I noticed that none of the other cars lining the street had received fines,” Naidoo said.

He said that when he asked the officer about this, she launched an attack on him. “She started swearing, saying ‘What the f*** do you know. I’m doing my f***ing job you f***ing c**lie’.”

Naidoo said he did not react aggressively, but the same officer proceeded to hit him over the head with a book.

“She then called over a male officer from across the road who hit me in the back and pushed me against a fence and pulled my hands behind my back.”

A third officer, who was Indian and “non-violent”, then handcuffed Naidoo and the officers then took him in a police van to the Pietermaritzburg Central police station.

Naidoo, who was supposed to be appearing in court to testisfy in an attempted murder case in which he was the victim, was kept in the holding cell from around 9.30 am until 2 pm.

While in the holding cell Naidoo, under duress, signed a court summons. The summons states that he must appear on assault charges today.

“I did not lay a finger on any of them and I was not rude,” said Naidoo.

Naidoo’s friend and a witness to the scene, Brendin Chetty, confirmed this. “He was not violent at all. I saw them hit him and when the cop put Reseren’s hands behind his back, I heard Reseren say, ‘You are hurting me’, and the cop said, ‘That’s not my problem’.”

Naidoo has laid a complaint with Central police station and has opened a case against the officers. He will also visit a doctor, he said, because the blow to his head with the book may have exacerbated a problematic eye condition.

Kwenza Khumalo, the acting manager of public safety, said that “until I receive a complaint in writing I cannot act. Once I have received a complaint we will follow normal procedure, and if the allegations are true then legal action will be taken.”

Naidoo’s mother, Roshnee Naidoo, said they will “hand over the complaint, with the full details of what transpired, to Khumalo tomorrow afternoon”.


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