Cop not charged after investigation into viral video

2017-07-11 06:02
Deputy Police Minister Bongi B Mkongi

Deputy Police Minister Bongi B Mkongi

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After a video shared on social media went viral in January, the police ministry called for an investigation into the matter that has since been concluded.

In the video, an officer can be seen attempting to remove a woman from the community service centre (CSC) following what is believed to be a verbal attack after an ­arrest.

It is alleged that the woman is related to a minor who had been arrested on drug-related charges and was making a scene in the CSC. In an attempt to control the situation, it is believed the officer tried to remove her from the area, when personal remarks were made.

The video only captures the officer’s attempt to restrain the woman.

Following public outrage, the matter was investigated.

On Friday last week, national deputy police minister Bongani Mkongi visited the station to review the findings and discuss the way forward for police in avoiding such situations in future.

Major-General Gregory Goss, Mitchell’s Plain policing cluster commander, explained the findings ahead of screening the video at the meeting.

Goss said no charges were brought against the officer.

Goss explained that on the night in January officers responded to a tip-off about drugs being kept or sold at a house in Morgens Village, an area with a high number of reported drug activity.

“The officers responded to the complaint and arrested a boy aged 17 years and 8 months – in other words not 18 years old yet – for possession. The officers then transported him to the station,” said Goss.

On arrival at the police station and while busy processing the teen, the woman arrived at the station.

Goss said everyone would have their own view on what was happening in the video. He further explained that the officer first asked the woman to leave the CSC.

“There was a scuffle between the officer and the woman who continued to swear at the officer. Ultimately he had to remove her from the CSC,” he said.

A case was opened against the woman for crimen injuria and assault of a police officer, and resisting arrest.

Both cases had since gone to court and both were diverted.

No charges were brought against the officer.

“It was found that the officer did not act unlawfully or incorrectly in this matter,” said Goss.

Mkongi said the officers on duty that evening failed the officer shown in the video.

He added his voice to the fight for gender equality and pleaded to see more women officers empowered at police stations.

Mkongi also said that together with the minister, his department was pushing a gender violence campaign and was planning to make a lasting change in their two years in office.

Other speakers included Mitchell’s Plain Community Policing Forum cluster chairperson Lucinda Evans, who called for action in implementing more gender equality at stations and for the recognition of rights for all, including the LGBT community.

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