Maties accuse cops of brutality

2012-02-20 10:20

Cape Town - Police have once again been accused of violent behaviour towards students and sociable young people in Stellenbosch.

Two students who live in a flat near the Terrace pub in Alexander Street said they heard there was "trouble" in the early hours of Saturday morning and saw how about 15 police vans and other security vehicles “swarmed” over the parking area next to the Anglican Church on the Braak, across from the pub.

Francois Lötter and SP von Schlicht took cellphone videos of the incident.

“There was a fight between two guys from different groups after one guy shouted out a slur. Someone called over an ADT vehicle and suddenly it was just sirens and police wherever you looked.

Pepper spray

“About five or six guys were arrested and thrown in police vans, even if they just wanted to explain what had happened. The brutality with which police handled the people was unnecessary.”

His flatmate, Von Schlicht, agreed: “It didn’t matter if you were a guy or a girl, everyone in the area was sprayed with pepper spray. Their eyes looked bad.”

The video recording showed how one student was grabbed on his ankle and belt, dragged across the ground and was thrown hard against a police van twice.

Similar incidents were reported a while back, including a raid four years ago that made headlines.


Hans Wessels from Somerset West is bringing a civil case against the minister of police after his children suffered at the hands of the police last year.

“It looks like there is no order and authority in the senior ranks of Stellenbosch police. They are charged and subpoenaed, but the same thing happens again and again.

“The place where they [students] should be protected, they fear, because police act like hooligans. A child in Stellenbosch should be able to seek refuge with law enforcers, but here it isn’t the case,” said Wessels.

Lieutenant Colonel André Traut confirmed that seven men between 19 and 21 years old were arrested for disorderly conduct between 00:40 and 01:15 on Saturday.

They were released the same morning after being given admission of guilt fines.

Traut said anyone who felt they had been treated unfairly was encouraged to lay an official charge with the local police station or with the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD).

- Were you there? Send us your eyewitness accounts and photos.

  • JohncarlosBiza - 2012-02-20 10:27

    Police brutality is our town's middle name. They think being harsh is better than working smart. Ironically the cops in places like Rondebosch(also a student town) are a lot more civilized and I still feel a lot safer there.

      hlakulao - 2012-02-20 11:15

      There is nothing I hate than lil brats who cause trouble and whenever the cops intervene they act like rascals claiming to have rights. Matter of the fact is that drunkards always get away with heavy stuff on a scapegoat of the second party. Cops should have used schamboks for all I care. Cops are taunted due to the fact that students will claim they have rights, mfxim

      Modefan - 2012-02-20 11:46

      But have any of you seen how these 'innocent' students behave? Drunk in public, yelling "F the police, nobody tells me what to do", and if they get arrested, its "weet jy wie my pa is?" all kinds of I'm-drunk-now-I'm-superman crap

      wesleywt - 2012-02-20 11:56

      @hlakulao Oh just stfu. You clearly don't know whats going on in your little world

      FlowingRivers - 2012-02-20 13:25

      S'nice to know that cops are treating everybody equal these days !!!!!!!!

      J-Man - 2012-02-20 14:57

      I have had a friend picked up by police in Stellies, for beind "dronk op straat"...fair enough. But, they took him just outside Stellies, to Jonkershoek, took him out the van, assaulted him, stole his cellphone and money, and left him there next to the road, in the middle of the night, alone. And this really happened....

  • Vusi - 2012-02-20 10:30

    If your ex boss is in jail and the his follow up suspended after he told the police to shoot to kill.......who is protecting us? Gun happy criminals I would presume. The onion rots from the top.....

      Vusi - 2012-02-20 10:41

      This is a grim picture of our country. BUT! Where are the opposition parties when they should be speaking out against this? The only "protector" we have in this country is the media. They tell us what is wrong and they seem to be fighting a lonely battle against all that is wrong in our society. The time has really come for a viable opposition party that would protect our rights as citizens. The ANC gets blasted on a daily basis, but do we have any opposition party that really cares? Isn't Stellenbosch in the Western Cape?????? Just wondering what Mrs. Zille is doing about this, or is she too busy with her gender emancipation?

      TSR01 - 2012-02-20 10:57

      Vusi, nice proliferation of ANC propaganda - wait for a press statement from The Hon. Premier Zille. This article only came through this morning at 10:20. P.S. When The Hon. Premier Zille sets out to do something, it gets done - watch this space. :)

      irduplex - 2012-02-20 11:45

      Yes Vusi, Onios rot from the top, who is the top brass in South Africa ?

      !r!3 - 2012-02-20 12:01

      abit stupid if you only listening to what the media tells you... You think that all true then you very far behind in this world. Why you relying on other parties? they not in power... All they can do is talk with no action, they got nothing Some advice, come on here for a good laugh but NEVER take these articles serious, the truth takes research nowdays, we will not be shown the real news

  • Mhlophe - 2012-02-20 10:30

    The fact is police are not trained or inclined to act professionally. The laws in this country are there to govern those that are willing to abide by them, there is no recourse for law abiding citizens against those that break the law when those charge with upholding it don't.

  • aspruyt - 2012-02-20 10:33

    More court cases against incompetent police which the tax payer will have to fork out again! Fire those fools already!

  • Jason - 2012-02-20 10:35

    What a crock of SH1T! please bouncers and police have been giving Uni students hidings for years, the only problem here is that Uni students are becoming a bunch of whinges. They were more than likely drunk and aggressive. Youngsters feel nothing to shout out disrespectfully at police and since when did that become ok? If the police officers were trying to arrest the two fighters and some of their mates interfered then arrest them as well. While you are drunk causing a disturbance and the cops have to deal with you, guys are robbing houses, and really hurting people. And to the parents, your children are not angels!

      Trevor - 2012-02-20 10:42

      ja. Alcohol is a pretty depraved drug

      Jacques - 2012-02-20 10:48

      Agree 100%, Jay.

      JohncarlosBiza - 2012-02-20 10:52

      Generalizing much? Do you know that 3 years ago, Maties students would get arrested for not producing student cards on public roads on their way home? Does that sound like whining, spending the night in jail for not taking your student card with while heading to a friend's home to study with them? How about a shotgun being let off in a club by cops just to get students' attention? Black/coloured male students being followed around slowly from a shop all the way home? Female students being abused when suspected of having had alcohol before driving, without any proof at all? Which laws in this country defend/promote the cops acting this way? Why would one small campus have so much to write about, but not others?

      mariuskowie - 2012-02-20 11:04

      There are procedures for the police to follow in cases like this. Brutality from the police side is NOT part of this. Police Brutality is braking the law and human rights. It makes the people that is supposed to protect the South African citizens (police) into common uniform wearing gangsters. What example is set for our youth?

      Jason - 2012-02-20 11:17

      @Johncarlos, what planet are you from? Students would get arrested for not producing their student card??? get real dude, in this day and age even the police wouldn't get away with that. There is too much complaining! Are the police perfect? NO they are not, they are not properly trained to deal with half of the situation they get into, but that doesnt stop the fact that some drunk students were brawling in a parking lot in the early hours, and the cops gave them a little pepper spray to teach them a lesson, and arrested the big mouthed friends for interfering and being drunk in public! As a kid I spent a new year in seapoint, back in those days, sea point main road would become a war zone, cars being rocked, people throwing water bombs and other things off balconies. We got hit with proper teargas, did it hurt? YES we ran like our lives depended on it. Did we run to our parents and complain? NO because i parents didn't bring up pansies!

      hlakulao - 2012-02-20 11:20

      My Point exactly Jay. CPUT, UWC, Maties whenever these guys are on social gatherings with alcohol and cops are called, u will here with all kinds of excuses whenever cops try to intervene cops are labelled as brutal, I still mantain, they must whooop their cocky behinds nxeeee

      JohncarlosBiza - 2012-02-20 11:56

      "Students would get arrested for not producing their student card??? get real dude, in this day and age even the police wouldn't get away with that" Exactly my point dude. You simply don't get it. I am typing this FROM THE SAME TOWN IT HAS HAPPENED! NOT A DAMN THING I MENTIONED HAS NOT HAPPENED IN THE PAST 3 YEARS! Maybe the capitals will send sense shooting up your skull.

  • Tammy - 2012-02-20 10:40

    clowns - all off them! they should resign from the police and join the circus

  • Thelma - 2012-02-20 10:58

    Bunch of bullies and the only thing that makes them more powerful is the firearm they carry with them!!!!

  • michael.e.bowery - 2012-02-20 11:04

    There are quite a few students unused to discipline who think that being at university is a sort of licence to booze,do the club thing and the odd brawl in the belief that it all part of the university curriculum. Clubs such as these are a damned nuisance to overworked and sometimes inept police force members who quickly tire of the perceived priviledged unruly behaviour of half mature students. Particularly, when there is far more serious crime to attend to. I also notice they all paid admission of guilt fines without a problem so maybe the experience will do some good.

      Jason - 2012-02-20 11:22

      Agree 100%, I spent 10 years in the police reserves, from before 94 elections to well into the new government. One of the biggest pains in the ass came from drunk arrogant university students who believed they new everything, the opinionated idiots. That doesn't go for all UNI students, just the drunk obnoxious opinionated ones.

  • Michael - 2012-02-20 11:14

    Good give them a good bashing, this country is in an economical crisis and all these students do if is get drunk and brawl. Its time they start learning and contribute to this damn country in an productive way. There is serious crime to be fought, and if they cause trouble bash them. When our police is too calm we complain, when they buckle up and get the job done....we complain they too harsh.

  • Mercha - 2012-02-20 11:30

    Now, i've been a student and somehow i want to believe that these students were out of hand. I think the media in riding on the gravy train here with the hole police brutality thing... Just my opinion.

  • Charmaine - 2012-02-20 11:35

    There's always two sides to the story, yes, it is true that the police brutality has been and are still the norm,today. I know from experience that most of the police harass people for nothing. But, the youth must also behave themselves when they are in the wrong. But the police have no rights to hit the people. Proper procedures must be followed.

  • maria.wayne - 2012-02-20 11:46

    Why is it that the students who don't drink excessively, who don't move in mullet-haired packs after dark, who don't waste their parents' hard earned money on partying, somehow never get in trouble in Stellenbosch?

      Jason - 2012-02-20 12:13

      lol you answered your own question ;)

  • Blank - 2012-02-20 12:52

    Our Police are brutal because more than 50% did not even go to high school. They come from areas where being brutal is the normal way. Education is key here. Please provide our Police officers some people skills and everything will change.

  • paulmandlankosi - 2012-02-20 12:53

    If you are drunk and cause trouble, only a good hiding is an answer, we were all students and know how drunk friends behaved.

  • Monti - 2012-02-20 12:54

    Recruit Italian Police the are civilised

      paulmandlankosi - 2012-02-20 13:25

      Just arm the police with good sjamboks (imvubu) and give them permision to administer a good hiding, no Italian police required here.

  • Leonard - 2012-02-20 14:33

    What are you here for drinking or studying if you want to drink go home for the weekend

  • Lincoln - 2012-02-20 15:45

    We should deploy the Stellenbosch police on the white farms!

  • Lincoln - 2012-02-20 15:49

    * they heard there was "trouble" in the early hours of Saturday morning and saw how about 15 police vans and other security vehicles “swarmed” over the parking area *

  • Gwen - 2012-02-20 16:07

    Lets just wait and see another young person get shot by the police... this brutality has to STOP

  • Charl - 2012-04-17 11:26

    i was asked to pull over by a Stellenbosch security or something and when he got to my car he started swearing at me and my friends and he ripped my key out of my ignition breaking the key off of the back of my remote. when the police arrived thay said no nothing is wrong and drove away

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