Brutality incident an 'embarassment'

2013-03-15 22:11

Johannesburg - Police officers should be working with communities to fight crime within the framework of the law, and not abuse the law, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said on Friday.

"We must all of us, as society, mobilise and sustain a campaign against any allegations of police brutality and lawlessness across all spheres of society," he said in a statement.

"Critical in fighting crime is the campaign to weed out elements within the criminal justice system who are engaged in various acts of crime, even if it involves our own officers."

Mthethwa said the recent alleged police brutality incident in the North West was an embarrassment to the police service.

On Friday, a 36-year-old police officer accused of dragging an off-duty court interpreter alongside his car was charged with attempted murder, Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) spokesperson Moses Dlamini said.

The sergeant, based at the Lomanyaneng police station in Mahikeng, North West, appeared in the Mmabatho Magistrate's Court on Friday.

The case was postponed to Wednesday for a formal bail application, said Dlamini.

Mthethwa welcomed the arrest of the officer by Ipid, and said officers should protect citizens in line with the Constitution.

"We condemn any act of police brutality, as such incidents are not what we want to see, or want to become accustomed to in a democracy that is bound by the rule of law and where we have many dedicated police officers who continue to serve with excellence."

Mthethwa urged the public to "afford the criminal justice system space to deal with the case", and said he had confidence that the courts would reveal the truth of what happened.

The officer was arrested on Thursday for allegedly assaulting a man in Setlopo Village and dragging him alongside a police vehicle.

The man, a court interpreter at the Molopo Magistrate's Court, was called over to the police vehicle after speaking to a boy who had allegedly been harassed by the same officers moments earlier.

"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," Dlamini said.

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

The SA Police Union (Sapu) condemned the incidents of police brutality.

"The damage and embarrassment these incidents are causing to the police brand is so much that it will be extremely difficult to correct this situation," Sapu general secretary Oscar Skommere said in a statement.

Poor command and control in the SA Police Service was at an unacceptably high level. However, people should not generalise as not all police officers believed they were a law unto themselves.

"We have a small minority that is causing harm to the good image of the SAPS. Those few rotten elements will be dealt with accordingly," said Skommere.

Earlier this week, nine police officers were denied bail after being charged with murdering taxi driver Mido Macia, who was 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 26 February. He was found dead in the local police station's holding cells hours later.

  • Jan Van Riebeeck - 2013-03-15 22:23

    "we condemn" this "regrettable" action. We must "mobilise" and "engage" with the communities to prevent further "embarrassment". Nathi, maybe you should do your job, or resign. Peel kop.

      Timothy Whyte - 2013-03-16 10:25

      Headline should read "anc governemtn an embarrasment to democracy and freedom" ,,,,,,,,,,ok lets see if ancnews 24 deletes my comment AGAIN

      Timothy Whyte - 2013-03-16 11:16

      shepherd boy you are embarrasing yourself with your stupid comments, as you know everytime they open their mouths its an embarrasment

      Gieljam Gomtor - 2013-03-16 11:38

      Ive heard this statement of the brutality before it echos but in stead of registering it dissapears into the masses

      Jack - 2013-03-17 20:29

      The police arrest, the corrupt lawyers and judges set free. Its only a short time before the police learn useful new 'skills' to control the criminals. A few 'mistakes' are bound to occur. The police face death every day. They earn peanuts and get no support. When a policeman dies on the job, his family is left destitute. And of course, there is the criminal element in the police force too. Why should life be easy? Glad I'm not an honest cop. My gun would be hot all the time I suspect. So much work, so little time.

  • Mike Jones - 2013-03-15 22:31

    So much embarrassment! I imagine the government can't wait for the Freedom of Information Bill to be implemented. Et voila - no more embarrassment.

      Jimmy Don - 2013-03-16 12:57

      Very true Mike , very true indeed.

  • lacrimosewolf - 2013-03-15 22:32

    Well what do we expect? That it should be outrageous, egregious, an indictment on SAPS? We're all heartily sick and tired of your "should", "must", "it cannot be". Tell us How and When you intend to solve the problem

      FeebleGastro - 2013-03-15 22:57

      Rather how and when you SOLVED it.

      Edmirie Fourie - 2013-03-16 09:37

      Yes action is needed. Sick of this empty blah, blah, blah...

  • John Smith - 2013-03-15 22:54

    Train the thick thug POLICE to become PEACE OFFICERS who maintain the PEACE and serve the people! from the minister to constables.

  • Ditoa-re Gypsy - 2013-03-15 23:07

    Aaayi mani bayafana labosathane

  • Ditoa-re Gypsy - 2013-03-15 23:10

    If I see a police van I will run for my life

      Bless Boswell - 2013-03-15 23:19

      Hey, wait for me ...

      Jackie Dee - 2013-03-16 14:59

      I dont blame you

  • Ditoa-re Gypsy - 2013-03-15 23:22

    Yoh!! If they can toture another gov employee like that, who am I? They can make boerewors out of me.

  • Bryan Culross - 2013-03-16 00:13

    Why should the police be any different to Zuma et al?

      Climent Elvistro Makhuvele - 2013-03-16 01:09

      Pollice officers nowerdays days take law to theire hands is like the power is on theire hands which means we will all die just becoz of hatrecy

      Dee Bone - 2013-03-16 05:23

      fish rots from the head down

  • joeballito - 2013-03-16 00:33

    What these neanderthalls dont realise is that they should fire the culprits immediately and this arrogance would stop.No-one is held accountable,including the top brass,there lies the problem.

  • Truth.speak - 2013-03-16 01:22

    This is what happens when you let low class human beings into positions of power

  • popza.nzama - 2013-03-16 03:26

    Everything in life come in pairs.We have good police officers and bad police officers.Good police officers must be promoted and given position of power as a turn-around strategy.Police Unions must also be run by committed and examplary police officers.It is high time that Police Unions show leadership by publicly rebuking officers who tarnish their image and take necessary steps to remove them from the police force.

  • Tello Moleko - 2013-03-16 04:59

    i am police with ten years experience,what ive noticed is most blacks want to prove unknown point,racists and think they know better.most of them were not born during apartheid era but treat us as we were part of former police while we are on same age group,we black and white police were not there and dont know nothing about apartheid please.

      Gary Doyle - 2013-03-16 05:21

      So you are blaming apartheid now for police brutality and incompetence? You are assuming that all the citizens out there see you as an apartheid perpetrator and thus they treat you poorly as a policeman, that's crap! There are good policmen but alot haven't earned respect because of their own actions and incompetence in the public eye. Blaming the past for everything will only make things worse and you just look like another 1 shifting the responsibility.

      Eleanore Hill - 2013-03-16 09:01

      That's not what Tello said Gary. In a nutshell he is trying to say a lot of the new recruits have a major chip on their shoulder where they shouldn't have one.

  • Gary Doyle - 2013-03-16 05:09

    Mthethwa trying to do alot of PR instead of tackling the root problem. Calling it an embarrassment and blaming a few bad cops but he's not taking responsibility like he should.

  • Steve Singers - 2013-03-16 05:15

    Less talk.....more action.

  • andrejvv - 2013-03-16 05:45

    Start with the small and simple stuff. Show the public that you respect them. Fot instance- stick to traffic rules, keep left pass right, stop at stop streets, stop talking on your cellphones. I'm on the road the whole day and the blatant disregard for traffic rules tell me that you wont uphold any other laws neither. Respect starts by firstly showing it and then earning it. Be an example and people might respect you.

  • Vijen Lankesar - 2013-03-16 06:05

    The reason why this is happening because this country has a serious lack of emmates right from the president to govemantal org's like the saps.majority of top posts in saps are police who don't have the criteria to manage the placements they're in,as a result,discipline,morale,stress contributing factors come to play.its time this govt goes back to the drawing board

  • Hazel Patronnellah - 2013-03-16 06:12

    We are tired about this behavior, the pepertrators must rot in jail, we are no longer safe in their hands.

  • Erna Westdyk - 2013-03-16 06:52

    Unfortunately police brutality seems to be more prevalent than our 'esteemed' minister thinks, if one listens to how the public is treated by the police. Being dragged behind a police van isn't the only example of police brutality.

  • Tshepiso Diobe WakaMatambatshika - 2013-03-16 07:06

    Its kinda embarrasing to think that u only think of the image of the police than the lifes of the citizens. This thing is happening everyday in many different forms, pity none of it is captured to expose these dogs. SAPS needs a lot of training to be competent to do their job with confidence without defeating the hands of law.

  • Peter Zylstra - 2013-03-16 07:34

    The biggest embarresment is nathi and his mob of untrained, uneducated so called police servicea. They are a disgrace to SA and should all be fired!

  • Ndangah-Brumilda Shedni Mmberegeni - 2013-03-16 07:42

    If the image of police is embarassement, because of brutality incident, the minister what he do is talking nd national commissioner, don't you think mistake was made by the goverment , by appointing people who knows nothing about police, eg, national commissioner,nathi mthethwa, look at the stracture of marikana nd look what happen, if nathi mthethwa nd president did go and adress the public do you situation will get out of hands, today they can even answer who gave the oder?shoot!. The srike of th farm workers, burning of roads,fraud and corruption in our goverment,abusing of public money, who is perfect , mybe nathi nd phinyega must wear uniform nd get out from the office and shows the community, how must police treat suspect nd people in the community, and all of you , you will then see how many criminal cases are they gona have, stop talking abr wat hapen , get a solution

  • Rhulani - 2013-03-16 07:43

    Honestly I hate police officers

  • Thulasizwe Khumalo - 2013-03-16 08:01

    Let us all try to respect each other.

      Farzana Rahiman - 2013-03-16 08:26

      respect is earned, ur saps and minister doesNt have respect for any1- as he does nothing! so i wont- as many others

      Edmirie Fourie - 2013-03-16 09:17

      Sorry I can't respect criminals and bullies.

  • Tshepo Maredi - 2013-03-16 08:05

    I get pretty annoyed when the word condemn is used in a statement, as though that automatically makes the problem dealt with and we're forced to be pacified. The SAPS is in shambles and the minister together with the commissioner never seem to clearly say what they're doing about it. It's sad to have to wonder if police officers will ever use me for their own amusement.

  • Errol Wagner - 2013-03-16 08:12

    The minister should take responsibility. In another country he would have resigned a long time ago. But these politicians are good with words but when it comes to responsibility and action, they are sadly found wanting.

  • Nizole Middle-Finger Khala - 2013-03-16 08:32

    I'm so scared of the policemen!

  • wonga.m.tola - 2013-03-16 08:46

    I feel very unsafe in my own country, even with the presence of the Popos. Last night I was so frightened when I saw a police van. I thought to myself, what if those idiots approach me and DRAG me for no apparent reason?? Hehehe bullies these days come in uniform. Blue uniform bullies.

  • ANASKA - 2013-03-16 08:57

    Mthethwa please do not use the words "alleged police brutality" when you are fully aware the SAPS is incapable of creating a safe South AFrica - POLICE BRUTALITY IS A DAILY OCCURENCE - Wake up!!!!!

  • Altus Kirsten - 2013-03-16 09:00

    A lot of talk, but no action. Keep warming that chair minister. That is all you are good at...sittting on your hands.

  • Nizole Middle-Finger Khala - 2013-03-16 09:28

    I will disown my children if they want to join the police force!!

  • mantlekilo - 2013-03-16 09:34

    People in position of power and authority and who are found to have abused these positions and responsibilities should be subjected to harsher punishments. It is also time to change the name of Çorrectional Services to Deep-artment of Punishment Centres and let them live up to their new moniker. Statistics prove that very little correcting takes place anyway.......

  • HeinrichVenter - 2013-03-16 09:43

    How do they expect police officers to act accordingly when they don't even come close to setting a good example?

  • HeinrichVenter - 2013-03-16 09:44


  • rob.martin.94402343 - 2013-03-16 10:09

    Nathi you are an embarrasement, not capable of running your portfolio, why dont you get out off your Carducci suit and get out in the field with your staff and smell the sweat.

  • nkosikhonorman.ludidi - 2013-03-16 10:33

    I think Satan have arrived in South Africa.....I dont think these policemen were in a good state of mind when they were dragging these victims....i mean even a ten year old child cannot do that thing....I'm pretty sure they regret what they have done....

      Sean Wasserman - 2013-03-16 10:45

      Criminals do not have a conscience - the police officers involved don't have any regret. They should be treated the same way. Put them in the prison's general population and let their victims have their way with them.

      nkosikhonorman.ludidi - 2013-03-16 10:59

      @Sean.....I visited these police officers in police cells.....they regret what they have done but it is difficult here in South Africa to just confess and tell the court that.......because you are trying to protect your job......deep inside their heart i know they agree that they are totally wrong

  • nkosikhonorman.ludidi - 2013-03-16 10:39

    Mr Zuma can you please appoint a person who is a police officer in top position..a minister must be a qualified lawyer and a national commissioner must be a police officer not a politician.......everything will be in right if you do that..

  • Ian Despy - 2013-03-16 10:58

    It starts at the top..........You SIR are an embarresment to our country. In any country with morals and standards the man in your position would have done the right thing and RESIGN!!!!

  • jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2013-03-16 11:24

    He is always telling the police what not to do, and when they do it anyway, he does nothing about it. Typical echo chamber politician.

  • Kevin Kramer - 2013-03-16 13:09

    Leebarashun BEE four airjukashun!! Viva

  • Kevin Kramer - 2013-03-16 13:13

    Thee Meenesta weel a point thee komeeshun orv en kwairee, there weel BEE thee tenda four thee kettering four thee

  • garth.philpot - 2013-03-16 14:22

    this is because the vast majority of South Africans are uneducated thugs that feel they are owed a living. I am of the opinion that there are more bad apples than good in this place...

  • Roanne Johnson - 2013-03-16 17:30

    D apartheid cops were amateurs compared2d thugs we call police2day!!

      latino2000 - 2013-03-17 04:49

      Please don't mention Apartheid..I did visit SA in 1973 ...The evil and violence that you see now ,are the fruits of the seeds planted in that era .

  • Ron Samuels - 2013-03-17 01:07

    by using the word alleged you've shown that you are the problem among many others.I think as a Police Minister you've missed the train and as the result SA is beyond being saved by you!If you would take your job seriously 75% of the ANC would be in jail!

  • Climent Elvistro Makhuvele - 2013-03-17 23:19

    Dis is too much embarassing

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