Driver recounts horrific ‘assault’

2018-12-06 06:02
Lloyd Gurupira’s bloodied eye after he was assaulted by policemen. Photo: Tamsyn Jantjies

Lloyd Gurupira’s bloodied eye after he was assaulted by policemen. Photo: Tamsyn Jantjies

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An Uber driver from Strand claims he was brutally attacked by policemen for no reason and without provocation.

The driver, Lloyd Gurupira, explains he was driving home passengers just before 23:00 on Saturday 1 December when he noticed a suspicious car in front of him at the traffic circle opposite the Lwandle Police Station. He says when trying to avoid the situation he ended up in the middle of another, more painful scenario.

“The car in front of me stopped and two men jumped out and started running in my direction. I swerved into the oncoming traffic lane because I wanted to avoid what was inevitably going to happen. Two cars came up the road and I flashed my lights and hooted at them. Police officers were in one of those cars. They jumped out and accused me of wanting to damage the car they were travelling in.”

He alleges that when he attempted to explain the reason for his actions the police officers started to assault him.

“One of them even slammed the door of the car against my leg. At this point my passengers all fled the car and the scene. The police then handcuffed me while one of them held me and the other continued to hit me. They then took me to the police station.”

There, according to Gurupira, one of the officials took a photograph of him before they let him go.

“I couldn’t understand why they were doing this to me. I tried to get their names but through all the hitting it was hard for me to take in what they were saying.”

He went back the following day to open a case against the officers who had attacked him, but was told by another officer that he could not open a case and that he should come back on Monday.

“I don’t know why I couldn’t make a case on Sunday, because you are supposed to be able to make a case any day and at any time. There I managed to write down the name of the constable who refused to help me. I was successful in making a case at the Somerset West Police Station.”

Suzan Jantjies, spokesperson for the Somerset West Police Station, confirmed Gurupira laid a charge of common assault against the officers who allegedly beat him to a bloody pulp the night before.

She confirmed the case had been reported to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID).

Lwandle Police Station commander, Lieutenant Colonel Xolani Williams, confirmed they are aware of the case that has been opened and that Gurupira was asked to return on Monday to lay a charge.

“He was advised to come back on Monday so that he could be interviewed by station management. The station management have now launched an internal investigation into the matter and should the members be found guilty, disciplinary action will be taken against them,” said Williams, who also said the case has been transferred to IPID.

Moses Dlamini, IPID spokesperson said no such case has been reported to them.


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