Tshwane metro police investigating knife incident

2015-10-08 19:39
The Tshwane Metro Police Dept logo (File, Twitter)

The Tshwane Metro Police Dept logo (File, Twitter)

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Pretoria - The Tshwane Metro Police Department has launched an internal investigation into the conduct of an officer who allegedly pulled a knife on four men travelling in a car in the Pretoria CBD, threatening to stab one of the occupants.

"We obtained a statement from the complainant and also saw the footage [of the incident]. The matter is now being investigated internally," spokesperson Senior Superintendent Isaac Mahamba said.

But the legal woes for the officers might not end with the internal investigation. Edgar Masuku, who was the driver of the car when the incident occurred, has also opened a criminal case.

"We opened a case of malicious damage to property because they damaged the car when they pulled him through the window," said Masuku, referring to when an officer allegedly pulled one of the occupants through the car's window after he was spotted filming the exchange.

Police spokesperson Constable Tumisang Moloto confirmed that a case had been opened against the officers.

Masuku said that Sinethemba Lubisi, who shot the video and who was kept in the holding cells after the exchange, had been released after the Pretoria Magistrate's court dismissed the case.

"The magistrate said there was no case and threw the matter out. He was advised to open a civil case against the officers," he said.

The group claims the incident occurred in the Pretoria CBD on Wednesday when Masuku was stopped along Boom Street.

Masuku said he had just turned onto Thabo Sehume Street when the officers in the vehicle behind him switched on their blue lights and ordered him to stop. There were apparently three metro officers present.

"They said I was indecisive, but I told them I was not. I asked what offence I had committed and if there was [an offence], they could write me a fine. They said I was stubborn and had an attitude," he said.

Officers started swearing

Masuku said the officers checked his car and told him his licence disc had expired. He explained that it was a rented car and he was returning it the next day. He was given a fine, but the exchange between them turned vulgar as the officers allegedly started swearing at him.

"While that was happening, one of the passengers, Lubisi, started recording them. One of the officers saw him and asked why he was doing that.

"They demanded he delete the footage, but he refused. He went back to the car, but one officer then pulled him through the window and demanded the phone," said Masuku.

While that was happening, another officer allegedly took out a folding knife and threatened to stab Lubisi.

"He pointed to his neck and said he knew what he was doing," Masuku said.

In the recording, a person can be heard saying: "My boy, let me tell you, what you're doing will get you into trouble. You will get in here and I will lock you up for something real."

One of the occupants in the car then says: "We have rights. What you're doing is harassment."

Another voice can be heard saying: "You will sleep at Pretoria Central. He sounds like a lawyer. You want to go to prison? I'm asking you. What are you laughing at?

"You’re not even the same age as my son. Ones like this, we stab them with a knife. Why are you taking a video of us? We will beat you up."

Then there is an exchange of words with a person asking why they are taking his phone. Another person responds, saying he was taking the phone.

Masuku said the officer told them to delete the video and they would be released, or they would be taken to the Pretoria Central police station. They refused to hand over the phone and Lubisi offered his hands to be cuffed. 

Read more on:    pretoria  |  crime

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