‘Cops abused power’

2018-11-12 11:42
Taxi driver Thabani 'Tiger' Sosibo says police might have been over the top when they pulled a gun on him for a traffic violation.

Taxi driver Thabani 'Tiger' Sosibo says police might have been over the top when they pulled a gun on him for a traffic violation. (Nompilo Kunene)

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A local taxi driver has accused two Alexandra Road police station officers of being heavy handed for pointing a gun at him after a traffic violation.

The officers caught the taxi driver driving in the oncoming lane in College Road on Monday during the morning rush hour.

Thabani “Tiger” Sosibo (35), from Imbali, told Weekend Witness that a police officer had pointed a gun at him when he was pulled over.

“A car had broken down. It was about the eighth car in front of me. There were no cars on the other lane so I swerved and drove in the oncoming lane,” he said.

Unfortunately for Sosibo, there was a police car with two officers in it among the cars he had overtaken and they instructed him to pull over.

“I know that I was in the wrong but I was expecting them to just give me a fine, not to point a gun at me.

“I was instructed to get out of the taxi with my hands above my head and kneel on the ground. They forced me to lie face down and started searching me. One of the officers was pointing the gun at me. I had nothing on me and had not protested or insulted them,” he said.

Sosibo alleged that the officer who was searching him kept on insulting him and swearing at him.

“He said we think we own the road. He called me an idiot, a p***k and a motherf****r in front of my passengers and I just kept on laughing because I knew I had done nothing wrong.”

He said the officers then made him sit on the ground across the road. After a short while they let him go and also drove off. He was not fined, arrested or charged.

Sosibo said people had gathered around them and some were taking videos and pictures of him having a gun pointed at him.

“It was as if I was a wanted hard-core criminal. People had gathered to watch.”

He said there was a video on Facebook of the incident that had more than 7 500 views by Friday afternoon.

“My 12-year-old son doesn’t want to go to school because his schoolmates were laughing at him telling him that ‘your father is a criminal because we saw him being arrested by the police’. It was very demeaning, embarrassing and uncalled for. If they wanted to arrest me they could have done it without pointing a gun at me.”

Sosibo has since opened a case of pointing a firearm against the officers. He said he was left very traumatised by the incident as his late brother had been shot dead.

“I also just want to know if the officers’ behaviour was called for,” he said.

He said he would be seeking legal advice on how to take the matter further.

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele had not responded to questions from Weekend Witness on the matter by late Friday.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  police brutality
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