Bystanders cheer escaping suspects

2016-06-13 10:34
The pair close the door and one even slides the bottom lock into place before fleeing.

The pair close the door and one even slides the bottom lock into place before fleeing. (Supplied)

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WATCH: Suspects escape from back of police vehicle in Pinetown

2016-06-10 13:06

A video has emerged showing two suspects escape out of the back of a parked SAPS vehicle, allegedly in Pinetown, KZN on Thursday. Watch. WATCH

Pietermaritzburg - It is not only that two suspects escaped a police van, but what also concerns authorities is the bystanders, who cheered and laughed as it occurred.

This according to provincial police and government who condemned the actions of bystanders who, instead of trying to stop two men from fleeing custody, laughed and cheered them on.

The KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison Mxolisi Kaunda and police management in the province were responding to a video that was shot in Pinetown on Thursday last week that went viral on social networks.

The pair were arrested for the possession of what police described as a “dangerous weapon”, and according to police, were being kept in custody at the back of the van while officers followed up on information regarding their arrest.

In one of the videos posted online, a man can be seen tampering with the door before the suspects break free.

In others, presumably after the door was tampered with, the low end of the door is visibly being pushed from the inside, after which a man squeezes his way through a tight gap, squirming and wriggling his body through it until he is finally free.

The man then yanks at the door, creating a gap for his partner to escape. The man then bangs the door back into place and the pair run off.

All the while, bystanders are seen and heard chuckling and cheering on the pair.

According to KZN police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala, the van was securely locked and police believed the bottom latch of the door was tampered with.

“We condemn the actions of the community who can be heard cheering the suspects on. It is a concern to see members of the community aiding the criminals to escape rather than preventing the escape,” Gwala said.

Kaunda called for a full scale investigation into the matter,

“If police were negligent, action must be taken against them. If a member of the community assisted the suspects, the law must also take its course,” Kaunda said.

“We are also disturbed at the behaviour of some members of the public who were watching as the incident happens and turning this into a mockery instead of assisting the police.”

Read more on:    police  |  pietermaritzburg  |  crime

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