Diplomatic unit makes case against cyclist

Cape Town - The South African diplomatic policing unit has lodged a case against cyclist Hein van der Merwe following a roadside assault which was posted on YouTube.

The incident, which was recorded on 8 May 2013, shows Van der Merwe being pinned to the ground and threatened beside a luxury black Mercedes Benz as diplomatic personnel and pedestrians look on.

The altercation arose when the driver allegedly tried to run him down after he hit the side mirror in protest at an alleged road transgression by the driver.

Brooklyn police spokesperson, Captain Colette Weilbach, told News24 on Tuesday the diplomatic unit had opened a case of crimen injuria and intimidation against Van der Merwe.

Ambassador

Under the Twitter handle @heinismyname, Van der Merwe tweeted that “the person who opened the case against me is Mr SR Khoza, according to police he is the driver”.

In an incident report submitted to eNCA, Van der Merwe said the driver of the car threatened to break his neck.

Van der Merwe exchanged words with an ambassador in the backseat. “He was on his phone and said ‘you will learn to treat diplomats with respect’ and ‘we’ll throw you in jail’,” he told News24.

He managed to photograph the ambassador but was instructed to delete the images by the diplomatic police who arrived on the scene.

Van der Merwe did not want to speculate on the nationality of the ambassador, but described him as “a Caucasian with a darkish skin, thick black hair, and a thickish dark black beard”.

When he tried to open a case at the Brooklyn police station, Van der Merwe was turned away and referred to the police headquarters.

According to Weilbach, an internal investigation is under way against the police officers who did not help him when he tried to open a case.

The South African Police Service communications department responsible for the diplomatic unit was unavailable for comment.

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