Police detain Cele’s adviser

2013-03-29 00:00

FORMER national police commissioner Bheki Cele’s communications adviser, Vuyo Mkhize, suffered a two-hour ordeal after he was arrested and bundled into a police van in the Point area of Durban on Wednesday night.

Mkhize said he was threatened, manhandled and bundled into a police van because the police said he was rude and drunk following a conflict on the road.

He described the incident as tantamount to abuse of state resources by the police to settle traffic disputes.

“They were driving on the right-hand lane and I on their left. In their lane there was a stationary truck and they tried to swerve into my lane. And because I was too close to them, I hooted so they moved back to their lane.”

At the next robot, he said, the officers confronted him and a few unkind words were exchanged.

“They said I was drunk and rude and asked me to pull over. I … laughed at them and drove off.”

Mkhize said the officers followed him and pulled him over. They put him in the back of the police vehicle and drove to the Point Road police station.

After speaking to the officer in charge, he was released without being tested or charged.

He lambasted the police for their behaviour.

“They were abusing their positions to settle a traffic infringement for which they were in the wrong.

“They did not follow any procedures when they arrested me. They did not read me my rights or tell me what would happen to my car, which was left in the road.

“This incident frightened me … not only because of what I have seen of the police, but I have my own experience as my elder brother died in police custody in 1993.”

The police said they were not aware of the incident; nothing had been recorded on their systems.

Moses Dlamini, of the Independent Police Directorate, said civilians who find themselves in such situations could launch civil claims against the police for wrongful arrest.

“We would not investigate such things because police have the right to arrest people. The person can put in a civil claim.

“The person that was arrested can get a lawyer and if the matter came before the courts, the police would not be able to prove that person was drunk.”

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