Police brutality 'disgusting': Ministry

By Drum Digital
15 March 2013

The police ministry has described the latest incident of alleged police brutality as "embarrassing" and "disgusting", it was reported on Friday.

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa's spokesman Zweli Mnisi told SABC radio news the underlying causes of such incidents needed to be investigated.

"This is an embarrassment,... it is disgusting," said Mnisi.

He said the "issue of command and control" at police stations needed to be looked at.

"What is the role of those who are supposed to claim oversight over this member?"

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) said on Thursday that a North West police officer had been arrested for allegedly assaulting a man in Setlopo Village in Mafikeng, and dragging him behind a police vehicle.

The 36-year-old sergeant based at the Lomanyaneng police station was taken into custody while on duty on Wednesday, Ipid spokesman Moses Dlamini said.

Dlamini said that on March 7, two police officers were seen allegedly harassing a boy near the tuckshop in the area.

"After the police had finished talking to the boy, the complainant called the boy to advise him about what to do should he feel that he was treated badly by the police," he said.

The man, a court interpreter at Molopo Magistrate's Court, said the same police officers called him to the police vehicle on the driver's side to confront him about what he said to the boy.

"The driver grabbed the complainant by the neck and asked him if he knew what police were capable of these days. The policeman allegedly drove off and dragged the complainant for about 100 metres," said Dlamini.

The man suffered injuries to his feet and was taken to a hospital by his neighbour.

The matter was reported to police on Tuesday. It was later reported to Ipid.

The sergeant would appear in the Mmabatho Magistrate's Court on Friday facing a charge of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

Earlier this week, nine police officers were denied bail after being charged with murdering taxi driver Mido Macia, who was also dragged behind a police vehicle in Daveyton, east of Johannesburg.

Macia was filmed being tied to the back of a police van and dragged along a street in Daveyton on February 26. Macia was found dead in the local police station's holding cells several hours later.

-by Sapa

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