Cop probed after video

2018-07-13 16:18
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Pietermaritzburg police are investigating claims by a Northdale truck driver that he was “manhandled” by a provincial traffic officer.

The incident under the spotlight was recorded and the recording went viral on social media.

The truck driver has opened a case of common assault against the Road Traffic Inspectorate (RTI) officer.

The cellphone video footage, which has since been deleted, had been viewed more than 22 000 times and had been shared at least 600 times on Face­book after being uploaded on Wednesday afternoon.

Provincial police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane confirmed that a case of common assault was opened at the Mountain Rise police station.

Zwane said the motive for the attack is unknown.

Speaking to The Witness on Thursday, Nischal Ramcharran, who was involved in the alleged altercation and filmed the video, said he had been on his way to Durban when the incident happened. “When he [the RTI officer] stopped me I went to his vehicle on the left hand side. I greeted him and said good morning sir and he just started swearing me.”

Ramcharran, claims that the officer asked him: “What is your f***ing story”.

He said he had been stopped by the traffic official after cutting in on the fast lane to overtake another truck in the left lane.

Ramcharran said the officer, who was driving behind him in the fast lane, signalled him to pull over, which he did.

“I took my documentation to him and he just started using vulgar language and it escalated from there.”

He claims that before he started filming, the officer threw him on the bonnet and manhandled him. “I don’t think it’s right for him to treat a fellow road user like that. I’m not gunning for his job but he must realise that what he did was wrong. You don’t treat people like that.”

In the 71-second video, the officer, who is first seen sitting in the RTI vehicle, jumps out to try and confiscate Ramcharran’s cellphone after he starts filming him.

“Once you take pictures against me I’ll f*** you up,” the RTI official is heard saying.

Ramcharran is heard asking the officer: “Why do you want to arrest me and why are you swearing me?”

“You are swearing me. Bring your phone. You think you’re clever, give me your licence and let’s go to the vehicle. You’re taking your phone so you can tell lie stories,” the officer adds.

Ramcharran continues to ask why the officer is swearing at him.

“Speak to the judge my bro. Talk to yourself whatever,” the officer replies.

Road Traffic Inspectorate (RTI) spokesperson Zinhle Mngomezulu said they were aware of the video.

“We don’t know why the driver took the video and posted it on social media. Does he think he is better than the law?”

Mngomezulu said Ramcharran, who was driving an articulated vehicle, knows that he was not supposed to be in the fast lane. “The officer was just doing his job and directing him to the slow lane. He failed to comply and undermined the officer’s authority.”

She accused Ramcharran of creating a social media “hullabaloo” at the expense of the officer.

“We will not tolerate lawlessness. The officer would not just pick on him out of millions of other motorists on the road, he should take responsibility for his actions,” she added.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  traffic police

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