ICD probe: man dies after ‘cop beating’

2009-06-10 00:00

A CHATSWORTH man has died after he was injured during a violent altercation with two police officers at the weekend.

It is believed that Shadrack Pillay (33) of Havenside in Chatsworth was driving in Bayview on Saturday afternoon when he allegedly “spun his wheels”, which attracted the attention of two patrolling police officers.

His grief-stricken brother Daniel Pillay told The Witness that Shadrack told him a Blue Honda Civic pulled up next to him and its occupants, a man and a woman, told him to alight.

“He saw the gun and thought it was a hijacking and sped off. He told me he was scared they would kill him,” said Pillay.

The occupants, who were later identified as police officers from the Bayview police station, gave chase.

It is believed the police officers called for back-up; several other policemen then set up a roadblock at the corner of Camper and Havenside drives, where they allegedly ambushed him with guns. Terrified they would kill him, he accelerated and drove over the pavement in Camper Drive in a desperate bid to escape. He hit a pedestrian, believed to be a local gardener.

“One of the policemen stood on the pavement and pointed a gun at my brother. He drove over the pavement to escape. They fired several shots at him,” Daniel said.

One of the bullets hit Shadrack’s red Kadett causing it to flip over in Bul Bul Drive.

“Our neighbour saw the commotion and ran to tell us. We all heard the gunshots. I ran out to see what had happened,” he said.

Shadrack was allegedly pulled from inside the overturned car and manhandled.

“My brother told me that the man picked him up and threw him on the floor. He twisted his leg before cuffing him. The man also stood on his genitals and jumped on his stomach during the assault,” he said.

Pillay found his brother writhing in pain on the ground, blood pouring from his mouth.

“When they realised who I was, they released him and took off the handcuffs. My brother lay lifeless on the ground. I thought he was dead. He managed to mumble that the policeman had booted him,” said Pillay, who is a security guard at the Point police station.

“The female officer stood on the vehicle and shouted that my brother deserved what happened to him because he struck that man. Everyone was horrified,” he said.

Shadrack was admitted to R.K. Khan Hospital on Saturday afternoon and died on Sunday morning.

“He was not the perfect person but he didn’t deserve this. The family is devastated about this,” Pillay said.

Shadrack’s childhood friend, Koogan Moodley, said he saw the policeman throw him on the ground. “When I tried to stop him an Indian policeman threatened to shoot me …” he said.

Chatsworth SAPS Commissioner Keerath Nundkumar said he is aware of the allegations against the police officers and confirmed that investigations into the incident are underway.

Nundkumar said allegations that the officers did not identify themselves are not true and that while the car was unmarked, it had blue police lights on it. The police officers have not been suspended.

He said he met with an investigator from the Independent Complaints Directorate on Monday.

“We are taking these allegations seriously. Statements have been taken from the complainants,” said Nundkumar.

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