Cops assaulted me in front of kids - dad

2013-01-25 09:27

Johannesburg - A Germiston man has laid charges with police after he was allegedly assaulted by two police officers in front of his hysterical toddlers.

Bruce Swart told Beeld how he had been driving back from dinner with friends with his fiancée Natashia van Zyl and their sons Jayden, 4, and Justin, 2, when he was pulled over by two members of the dog unit.

 “They pulled me from my vehicle and threw me against the pavement. One of the men’s hands was around my neck. It felt like I was being strangled,” said Swart.

He said: “Both the men were very aggressive and arrogant. They asked to see my driver’s licence…I shook a lot and asked if I could just drive back to my friends’ house to look for my wallet.”

The officers agreed but at the gate of the security complex the men got out of the car and started assaulting him.

His oldest son, Jayden, started screaming hysterically.

“I tried to calm him down but he was just really scared. It probably looked to him like they were killing his dad,” said Swart’s fiancée.

She said both of their sons were traumatised by the incident.

Swart was arrested on charges of reckless driving and possession of a stolen vehicle, even when Swart tried to convince them that his car’s registration documents were in the cubby hole.

Swart said R400 was taken from his wallet.

CCTV footage from the security complex showed how the police officers searched the car and looked at Swart’s driver’s licence as well as car registration papers.

All charges against Swart were dropped the following day.

A police spokesperson said the incident was being investigated.

  • toni.k.mcquillen - 2013-01-25 09:34

    My word, that is shocking this poor family. What is this world coming to when innocent citizens are harrassed like this, the police are supposed to protect the innocent, not victomise them.

      toni.k.mcquillen - 2013-01-25 10:08

      I know but it doesn't make it right.

      Jane - 2013-01-25 10:10

      Sadly this is becoming more and more common in South Africa. Innocent people being assualted by members of the SAPS for no apparent reason. My biggest fear is being pulled over for some minor thing as there have been horror stories of women being sexually assualted and beaten up by policemen

      toni.k.mcquillen - 2013-01-25 10:14

      It is a terrifying prospect and yet a sad reality we live with in this country, they are supposed to be the ones we turn to for help in those kind of situations not fear they will do that to us.

      francoisengelbrecht1 - 2013-01-25 10:23

      @simphiwe.charlie.5 - When the strikers start looting liquor stores and people's homes they lose all my sympathy. They become common thieves who belong in jail.

      toni.k.mcquillen - 2013-01-25 10:24

      simphiwe.charlie.5 I am all for human rights, this is a case of police brutality, not striking but if you must I see a place for it yes but I also think that sometimes strikers are unreasonable with their demands from some companies, a case of this is where some of the mines have had to shut their doors, but this is another topic.

      pierre.devilliers.9231 - 2013-01-26 04:48

      There are too many of these incidents of police brutality in South Africa and very little seems to be done about it. The police are not judges and executioners; they are there to apprehend a suspect. Suspect means not yet guilty. Even if this guy was drunk or has committed a crime, they cannot start beating him up; taking the law into their own hands. Our standards of acceptable force have lowered to what one would expect from the dark Middle Ages, Khmer Rouge or Stalin era’s. Not a modern democratic country. US TV and movies have glamorised police brutality and torture and our society and law enforcement agencies have all been desensitized to what is acceptable and just and what is not. Any police brutality including excessive force used, should be punishable by a prison term. Conviction statistics from the US and other Western countries show a conviction of about 40-60% of all suspects arrested. That implies directly for every suspect being beaten up by the police, there is a significant chance (40-60%) the person was innocent. That’s why we have courts and a court system that determine guilt and not just beating people up on suspicion.

      pierre.devilliers.9231 - 2013-01-26 04:53

      Simphiwe’ comment has disappeared, and so to many others including mine. I am not sure why reasonable comments that do not include any fowl language or personal attacks, but only an opinion, should be removed. There are too many comments just disappearing for no reason. Anyway Simphiwe – I agree with you. One should also have sympathy for strikers on industrial action that are victims of police brutality.

  • christo.stone - 2013-01-25 09:37

    I want to see what happens...this cannot be swept under the carpet like most of these cases! This is UNACCEPTABLE! The police force need to know their place! What is the police commissioner going to do? And the police minister?

      pierre.devilliers.9231 - 2013-01-25 10:57

      Good point. When a civilian assaults a police officer he/she goes to jail. When a police officer assaults a civilian the officer might and only might lose his/her job. The courts must start to act much harsher on police brutality. Prison terms for these kinds of assaults should be imposed. This is nothing else than "assault to cause bodily harm", which is a crime under the law and do carry a prison term.

      asteyn - 2013-01-26 03:08

      sue the pants off them!

      mike.bundy.73 - 2013-01-26 11:31

      Guess what? "The spokesperson was not available for comment." "The commissioner refused to make a statement". "The telephone messages were not returned." "The minister could not be contacted."

  • lea.grove.35 - 2013-01-25 09:38


      Mark - 2013-01-25 10:20

      Stop SHOUTING! Are you cross?

      toni.k.mcquillen - 2013-01-25 10:25

      I think so :)

  • ready2go - 2013-01-25 09:42

    No wonder people are starting to drive them over, the cops have become worse than the mafia, corruption, false arrest, bogus tickets, o wait, let me guess, apartheid`s fault right?

      chris.debeer1 - 2013-01-25 09:48

      Well at least you know or what to blame!! hehe Cannot be our well run clean goverment!!

  • cnako.faxi - 2013-01-25 09:42

    I Fell sorry for the guy specially for his family. These 2 must be charged or dismiss, we dnt need police officers who do such thngs other than protect us from criminal.

  • louis.bensch.31 - 2013-01-25 09:43

    Shocking,the days of respecting the police are long gone

  • theuns.vanrensburg.77 - 2013-01-25 09:46

    The Franschoek story is not even off the headlines yet, and now this! You can turn a blind eye if you want, but it is a racial issue. They follow the basic and tacid instructions from their master, the ANC, and this is totally in line with the second transition. Wake up white people!

      ready2go - 2013-01-25 09:53

      We are in denial, we kinda think Leon Schuster will jump out behind the bush and say this is a joke for his new movie "Cry the beloved South Africa"

      jj.jeno.1 - 2013-01-25 10:49

      Rubbish Theuns, if I were to tell you the number of times I've been harrassed as a black guy by the Police you'd realise it happens to us all. I have been stopped and accused of stealing my dad's car, my brother was stopped and accused of the same thing as well as apparently trying to bribe a cop after he refused the cops request. It happens, please don't make it about race. We need to get rid of cops like these.

  • ken.koen - 2013-01-25 09:46

    Were they SAPS or Metro thugs in uniform? This sounds just like Metro gangster behaviour. The frightening thing is, that the banana republic government of comrades know the metro gangsters behave criminally every day and nothing gets done about it. In fact it seem that they actually approve of metro cop criminal behaviour

  • willie.olivier.144 - 2013-01-25 09:47

    Case will be investigated my ass! The police service better start to realize who is paying their salary!it is the taxpayer, the very same people they harassing! It is not the taxi drivers or the ANC that pay their salary. Does this mean we, the drivers have to get our self personal bodyguard to protect us against police brutality? Be warned! We shall! The police must stop their militant behavior against the SA citizens!

      berni.venter - 2013-01-25 21:40

      eblockwatch has a service where you dial in on their server and the entire conversation gets recorded as long as the call is held! "To register (free), go to When you’re pulled over, you can dial 082 236 0003, which will take you to a line that records your conversation as long as the call is held. It will also send an SMS to four friends or relatives who can listen to the recording and determine if you need help. Even if you are not a member of eblockwatch, the conversation will still be recorded." On a totally different note, was that the complex security guard trying to assist and comfort Natashia and the children? Think he deserves a honourable mention!

  • willem.louw.16 - 2013-01-25 09:48

    Proudly South Africa, where innocent tax paying citizens are harrassed by the Police... Come invest, SA is great here is nothing wrong

  • raymond.mcnelly - 2013-01-25 09:50

    No-one should be surprised. Our police did after all absorb all the ANC terrorists.....

  • - 2013-01-25 09:52

    Disgusted! Cowards!

  • Killbot79 - 2013-01-25 09:56

    Cops think they are untouchable, they are just as corrupt as the ANC

  • Boika Function QJ Jakuja - 2013-01-25 09:57

    another reason why i wanna own a firearm, these people do all this cause they know tht the law favors thm. #pissed

  • neil.cuthbert.9 - 2013-01-25 09:58

    Yes lucky mpoza but who keeps voting for them?

  • jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2013-01-25 10:04

    Bloody savages.

  • lourens.dupreez - 2013-01-25 10:04

    This was a racist attack! They assaulted him because he was white! That's it!

      Killbot79 - 2013-01-25 10:27

      lebogang - GFY you racist filthy pig, you don't belong in the 21st century

      toni.k.mcquillen - 2013-01-25 10:34

      lebogang.frederick1 get over it, 20 years now we have a democracy people have their opinions, perhaps instead of shouting race you should actually just open your mind to other peoples point of view and then form one of your own.

      themba.thwala.775 - 2013-01-26 09:53

      Jy praat k** oupa. Was jy daar? Your comments also remind of the white police officers who fed black mozambican immigrants to their dogs, filmed the whole disgusting ordeal which later appeared on television news internationally.

      themba.thwala.775 - 2013-01-26 09:55 A PRETORIA high court on Monday postponed until November the trial of six white policemen alleged to have set dogs on black job-seekers, an incident that shocked South Africa and deepened racial mistrust between blacks and whites.he six accused are Jacobus Petrus Smith (31) Lodewyk Christiaan Koch (32) Nicolaas Kenneth Loubser (27) Dino Guiotto (27) Robert Benjamin Henzen (32) and Eugene Werner Truter (28). They are all charged with abduction, extortion and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. Three of the men have resigned from the police force since their arrest last year. The accused policemen made an amateur video in 1998 that triggered widespread outrage and an intense national debate on racism after it was shown by the state South African Broadcasting Corporation last year. It shows five laughing white policemen repeatedly setting dogs on to three black men who screamed and pleaded for mercy as the animals savaged their legs, arms and, in one case, genitals.

  • robert.dood.1 - 2013-01-25 10:09

    F:$&@:g Bastards

  • CarolynDewrance - 2013-01-25 10:11

    time to hammer these bastards, who the hell do they think they are, no wonder they get shot all the time arrogant bastards sometimes deserve it.

  • michaela.wilkie - 2013-01-25 10:12

    As a parent, this sent chills down my spine. This is shocking and absolutely disgusting the way this dad got treated and so uncalled for. My heart goes out the the two little children who had to witness something so dreadful and so uncalled for. Wishing the family all the best!

  • neiljvv - 2013-01-25 10:12

    Sue the crap out of SAPS

      lionel.defrontignac - 2013-01-25 18:14

      That's the way!!! Lots of money to be made.

  • Omnivore - 2013-01-25 10:13

    Ja, so maybe we should think twice before praising the police action at Marikana as so many have done.

  • schmee.gol - 2013-01-25 10:14

    Thank goodness there was CCTV footage. How many cases of this kind are pending against the police? And yet when they are faced with real thugs they back down.

  • mollinm - 2013-01-25 10:15

    Totally unacceptable behavior - then SAPS expect nation to trust, rely and respect them? This was sooo humiliating, as for poor kids!Sies on them.

  • thulani.scara.5 - 2013-01-25 10:15

    People I'm a cop my self i really feel disgusted by people who always utter words such as we are paying for ur salaries as if we don't pay tax! Whn ever u are a victim of crime u come running to us don't you think there is something wrong with our communities? Community members not all but some of them undermine the saps! Not all of us are corrupt! Maybe respect is lacking on both parties! Let's work together and make our lovely country a safe place! Proudly saps member

      toni.k.mcquillen - 2013-01-25 10:21

      I dont think you have an easy job by any means dont get me wrong, and those of you that are honest and do protect do so under some unimaginable circumstances, and thank you for speaking out! I dont doubt for a minute that people disrespect you as an official, however the behavour in this article is unacceptable, we read cases of woman being raped by police offices and harrassed them (not all of them I agree), but it is terrifying for us to think that we are just trying to get along with our lives are too scared to approach the police should we reach a police office that is not honest like yourself, what do we do about that?

      toni.k.mcquillen - 2013-01-25 10:37

      I would love to hear your point of view, it is nice to have different points of view.

      lionel.defrontignac - 2013-01-25 18:18

      Exactly; as a person who works closely with cops, I have to agree with your comments - but there is still that "police culture", which can be found anywhere in the world. After all, it's their job to protect the taxpayers (read people who own stuff worth stealing) against the mob. It is an unpleasant and daunting task. Kudos to you for protecting us.

  • mollinm - 2013-01-25 10:16

    Totally unacceptable behaviour from SAPS, with such behaviour do they expect the Nation to respect, rely and trust them? Heartfelt feeling to the kids - Sies on SAPS!

  • kyle.mclaren1 - 2013-01-25 10:17

    Unless it is a roadblock do not pull over for these people!! If you are well within your rights, obeying the law and there is no reason for them to pull you over, drive to the nearest cop shop!

      mike.bundy.73 - 2013-01-26 11:38

      If you don't pull over for a metro then there is a very good chance that they will shoot you. How should I know where the nearest police station is when I am travelling?

  • sandra.simpson1984 - 2013-01-25 10:20

    That is disgusting!! what view does that give our kids of the police? They should protect us, not strike fear into the hearts of children...not to mention law abiding citazens. Im disgusted.

  • marius.vanrooyen.37 - 2013-01-25 10:22

    Well well I cant believe it! A story in Beeld is actually on News24. So why are there never stories about white people being attacked on News24, but they appear in Beeld. I wonder? To the bastard policemen. Your time will come. What goes around....

      jj.jeno.1 - 2013-01-25 11:09

      Does Beeld carry stories of Black people being murdered or raped? I'm just asking...I don't read it. In fact just went there quick to see the video, didn't read Afrikaans is basic.

  • henk.venter.754 - 2013-01-25 10:29

    the police and traffic turned into a government sponsored gang!

  • bone.marrow.501 - 2013-01-25 10:30

    You was suppose to drive to the atm

  • moi.carla.1980 - 2013-01-25 10:32

    Tragic...these are the people that we are meant to trust with our lives? The reality is that there are many policemen out there that take pride in their position of authority and perform their duties as best as they can, but the bunch that go around terrorising and bribing give them all a bad name. At the end of the day, you don't know which are the trustworthy cops so we treat them all with the same sense of distrust.

      mike.bundy.73 - 2013-01-26 11:40

      Maybe you are right, it's the 98% making the other two look bad.

  • Hemlock - 2013-01-25 10:34

    Arrogant filth of the earth! I trust this family are all okay and the children will overcome the trauma.

  • aj.coetzee.9 - 2013-01-25 10:37

    Real cops GET FIRED for pulling over Winnie Mandela but a family can be beaten up by these muppets. We are paying taxes so idiots can get a gun and a badge. the police need to be roped in.

      Killbot79 - 2013-01-25 10:39

      ANC gets away with everything including murder, racism and corruption.

  • vanessa.luckhoff - 2013-01-25 10:37

    Oh always get to hear about the poor 'victims side of the story, and then most of the time it's not even the truth!Was HE perhaps drunk and did HE not get aggressive??????Always two sides to a story.

      toni.k.mcquillen - 2013-01-25 10:44

      Apparently there is a video of the attack, I am waiting for someone to post it, perhaps that will clear it up.

      lisav - 2013-01-25 10:57

      Have a look on Beeld.The video is there.Click on the bold "BEELD" in the article above. it takes you to the site. Its very disturbing.

      toni.k.mcquillen - 2013-01-25 11:14


      morne.fouche.3 - 2013-01-25 11:57

      If he had consumed alcohol..then the police should have done the necessary tests...which I'm sure they would have....but NO..because they are the law..they do what they want..I've been a victim of this sort of thing,so I know what its please lady take your blinkers off...

      brigette.swanepoel - 2013-01-25 13:25

      Go and have a look on You Tube then you will see the video!! And then you can give a comment>

      pierre.devilliers.9231 - 2013-01-26 04:23

      @Venessa - if he was suspected of driving under the influence, then arrest him, take a blood sample, and allow the court to impose a penalty. If we allow police to beat up people they only suspect of committed a crime, what kind of justice system would that be? The police are not judges and executioners. They only apprehend. Even if he was drunk, with 10kg’s of cocaine under the seat and a body in the boot, there is still no reason for the cops beat him up. They arrest him and let the law takes it course through the court system. At least that is the standards we have in Western Countries.

      jay.kganyago.5 - 2013-02-02 02:03

      You can see the video, he is not aggressive he is sitting and cowering like a puppy. Do not complain when this happens to you vanessa.luckhoff

      Natashia van Zyl - 2013-03-07 12:31

      Just to let you now I don't drink

      Natashia van Zyl - 2013-03-20 02:41

      Hi Venessa Bruce I work 12 hours a day providing for my familie I have no criminal records never been in trouble whiff the law I don't drink and will never drink and drive with my children in my car I'm a good husband and father and love my kids to deaf and will never put them in harms way . So before you stand up for those police men now that they are involved in 2 other incidents of the same nature so it will be wise of you to get your facts strait

  • gr8girl786 - 2013-01-25 10:38

    has all the cops in this country suddenly decided to go wild ??? whats going on people ??

  • carrie.sanders.777 - 2013-01-25 10:39

    It seems to me that law enforcement in this country is operating under the notion that everyone is guilty of some crime and have the right to be high-handed and abusive. Who do we go to for protection from them?

  • amanda.lotter.9 - 2013-01-25 10:42

    Dit is omdat hulle wit is. Nie omdat hy iets verkeerd gedoen het nie.

  • amanda.lotter.9 - 2013-01-25 10:45

    Ek word so kwaad, ek kan sommer twee krokodille vang, en Germiston toe bring.!!!!!!!!!!!

  • JuliusYouPrick - 2013-01-25 10:49

    The cops were definitely black!

      jj.jeno.1 - 2013-01-25 11:12


  • Carina - 2013-01-25 10:49

    We used to teach our children that police are there to protect them.....but we can't do that anymore, our children can't ever trust the police anymore.

      johan.mostert.967 - 2013-01-25 12:15

      They only attacked the rock throwing, looting terrorists.

      herman.letlalo - 2013-01-25 13:15

      I guess here they attacked a man who was refusing to get out of the vehicle to effect a search, showed aggressive behavior, with a girlfriend who couldn't shut it. By the way there is no assault appearing on the footage

      toni.k.mcquillen - 2013-01-25 13:49

      So it is acceptable to have police invade your personal space now is it without just cause? It happened to me I allowed them to do it but the entire time I felt violated by the act, I had nothing to hide but that wasn't really the point.

  • Genesistt - 2013-01-25 10:49

    This is why I'm too afraid to drive at night.

  • Suka - 2013-01-25 10:51

    I have NO respect for cops. Their ego drives me mad. They need to realize that just because they are wearing a uniform, does not give them the right to do as they please. Iv been pulled over before, and when one of the cops stuck his hand in my pants to look for something, i protested saying you cant touch my croch. When you protest, they think your guilty....

  • cecil.wright.142 - 2013-01-25 10:52

    They always " investigate", then suspend these cops on full pay until the paperwork disappears . Welcome to Africa and the rule of the ANC

  • Tinabtlr - 2013-01-25 10:53

    This sob story sounds a bit funny: 1) He told the police that his wallet was back at his friends house, so how can R400 go missing out of a wallet he does not have on him? 2) Why is the car's registration docs in die cubby? The disc should be on the windscreen. 3) Why was he pulled over in the first place - and by members of the dog squad? Why was the car searched? A sniff of drugs perhaps? The fact that he was not charged with anything, does not mean that he did nothing wrong, just that there was probaly not sufficient evidence.

      toni.k.mcquillen - 2013-01-25 11:03

      No but we can't really say that without anything they may or may not have had a reason but does it justify beating him in front of his young children. I have been pulled over before and had my car searched for no reason what so ever, I wasn't speeding, I wasn't drinking, I was just merrily driving along minding my own business, but they still stopped me and harrassed me so excuse my doubts about the cops intentions.

      Tinabtlr - 2013-01-25 11:16

      We can also not just assume that his version of the story is true. I have seen numerous times how some members of the public behave when they are stopped by police or traffic officers. The type of verbal abuse and aggresive behaviour they display towards these officers are quite something to behold. Link that possibility with all the other anomilies in the story and the recipy for disaster is well mixed.

      toni.k.mcquillen - 2013-01-25 11:30

      Tinabtlr I know that people can treat the cops in a disgusting manor and it is unacceptable you are quite correct. But then perhaps as a policeman you have a higher calling than the rest of us and need to rise above it, but again people shouldn't verbally abuse the police, I actually find that by being friendly in things like road blocks I get a log more joy out of them, I have never will never bribe a policeman as I dont want to be part of the problem, but a little courtesy does go a long way. - 2013-01-25 12:29

      @zenande So clearly you cannot tolerate yourself then. Idiot. - 2013-01-25 12:33

      Sounds a bit funny you say. You then go on to assume he is guilty of something. Is that because he's white and therefore, in your tiny mind, clearly guilty of something? If the colours were reversed you would be complaining about racist police and the racist whites would be claiming the same thing you do - that the driver must be guilty of something. Don't you people see it - we are just going round and round in racist circles! (and by "you people" I'm referring to everyone on here - not a specific race group)

      toni.k.mcquillen - 2013-01-25 13:52 just so we are clare Tinabtlr didn't say they were guilty, he said we cant assume that he is telling the truth, zenande.ntanga just makes no sense really regarding what was being said.

      Tinabtlr - 2013-01-25 15:33 Did I mention race in any of my comments? Did I state that either party is guilty/innocent beyond any doubt? No I did not. You are the one making assumptions. I just mentioned possibilities and pointed out a few discrepancies in the article. I trust you, who apparently like to call people "idiots", know the difference.

      simon.selahla - 2013-01-25 21:24

      U can see that the whole thing is just a fabrication!

  • victor.dalziel - 2013-01-25 10:58

    People, we can no long tolerate this kind of behavior from our so-called police force, they are out of control and arrogant.

  • raynard.looch - 2013-01-25 10:58

  • grant.hutton.188 - 2013-01-25 10:58

    The tables have turned people, its the majorities turn now to get back at the minority for what an undesirable few in the police force back in the day did to the majority. Its not going to go away for a while yet. Us minorities will be given a kerfue (spelling?)soon as well if we are not careful. Sorry, don't mean to piss anybody off.

  • likoena.makae - 2013-01-25 11:09

    I think now it is a right time for this government to realise the incompetency of this young and upcoming police,the training of the poloce must be transferred to Urniversity and spend 3years behind desk study policing,College is not enough to teach them how to aproach proffessionals

      toni.k.mcquillen - 2013-01-25 11:49

      At least that would be a positive step towards improving it definately.

      johan.mostert.967 - 2013-01-25 12:15

      Then the entire AA setup will fail.

      toni.k.mcquillen - 2013-01-25 13:53

      Based on what? what do you suggest then?

  • Marcus Steenberg - 2013-01-25 11:11

    He should sue - I am sure he will and he will get a nice lottery size payout and rightly so. Those officers should be fired if found guilty and that will be that. Fortunately not all police are like this but its a travesty that any are. The ones that are like that are typically those taking the job for the sake of a job and not those who are called to the profession.