Men say cops beat them up

2010-11-18 00:00

A NIGHT out for three young men turned nasty, they allege, when they were subjected to police brutality in ­Pietermaritzburg in the early hours of Monday morning.

Kavish Kheyali (24), Clinton Christian (23) and Krushenthen Pillay (27) said were left with bruises as result of the beatings they suffered before and after they were taken to Pieter­maritzburg Central police station.

After their ordeal, the three returned there to lay charges of assault against the police officer.

They said the trouble started after their car had broken down at the corner of Bulwer and Masukwana (East) streets in the early hours of Monday morning. While they were attending to the vehicle, which belongs to Pillay, a police dog unit vehicle with two officers pulled up.

They said one of the officers alighted and questioned them about the vehicle. Pillay said that as started to explain that the vehicle had broken down, the officer started assaulting him.

The second officer looked on while holding a police dog, said Christian. “The officer first hit Krushenthen twice across the face with an open hand. When I complained about the assault he turned and assaulted me.

“A woman who was standing on a balcony shouted at the officer to stop the assaul, but he instructed her to get back into the house.”

They were allegedly forced to kneel on the pavement and the assault continued.

Kheyali said the officer sprayed teargas into his face.

They said another police vehicle with two officers arrived and they were roughly thrown inside and taken to the police station.

“At the police station we were charged with causing disruption and were each fined R100,” said Christian. The men were allowed to phone their family members.

“When I told my father about the assault, the officer grabbed the phone and spoke to my father. He later assaulted me for what I had told my father,” said Christian.

Kheyali was bruised on the face, head and right hand and he sustained a black eye. Christian was bruised on the face, right hand and complained about pain in his body. Pillay had bruises on both elbows and also complained about pain in the body. Each of the three men consulted a doctor before opening an assault case.

Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joey Jeevan said a case of common assault was opened. “Police cannot tolerate any misconduct, and an investigation will be conducted,” said Jeevan.

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