Cops ‘wrecked home, stole money’

2018-09-28 15:42
Gladys Dladla and her nephew, Sipho, allege that they were terrorised by a group of more than 10 police officers at their home in Maqonqo on Wednesday. INSET: The clutter that was left behind after the police officers allegedly ransacked the Dladla household during a search for drugs and guns.

Gladys Dladla and her nephew, Sipho, allege that they were terrorised by a group of more than 10 police officers at their home in Maqonqo on Wednesday. INSET: The clutter that was left behind after the police officers allegedly ransacked the Dladla household during a search for drugs and guns. (Nompilo Kunene/Supplied )

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A local businesswoman has accused the police of brutality and theft after more than 10 officers allegedly ransacked her home, broke her furniture, stole her money and assaulted her children on Wednesday.

Gladys Dladla, a businesswoman from Maqonqo, told The Witness that on Wednesday at around 1 pm four police vehicles, two of which were marked, pulled up at her yard. A group of more than 10 officers — who were not dressed in uniform nor had any form of identification — ransacked her home claiming to be searching for drugs and guns.

“I asked if they had a search warrant but they told me to get lost and leave them to do their jobs. They were going from door to door in the homestead, kicking some of them down. They turned everything upside down but they didn’t find anything,” said Dladla.

Sipho (22), her nephew, said he was minding the tuck-shop in the yard when the police assaulted him.

“They said I must tell them where the drugs and guns were. I told them we didn’t have any of those things and they started slapping me several times.

“They instructed me to take off my clothes so that they could search me. While taking off my T-shirt they saw that I had stitches on my abdomen and started squeezing and kicking me on my stitches saying I must talk. The pain was unbearable,” he said.

Sipho said the police then went on to torment his five-year-old cousin.

“They tore her dress off saying we were hiding the drugs on the child. She started screaming and they let her go. They also shoved dagga inside my cousin’s mouth. They went as far as squeezing our goats’ stomachs, saying we were hiding drugs on them,” he said.

Dladla alleged that when the officers finally left, she noticed that R5 000 cash was missing from her jacket, which had also been searched by the police. The family were also missing one cellphone.

The Dladlas claim they are being targeted by the officers as this was the sixth incident of this nature this year.

Dladla has since opened a case against the police at Bishopstowe police station. She provided The Witness with the case number.

However, she said that she does not know the identity of the police officers involved, and she was also uncertain which station or unit they were attached to.

“We don’t even know why they are targeting us, the only reasonable explanation would be that they might be colluding with jealous community members because we are the only house being terrorised.

“We want justice to prevail. These officers must be charged and arrested so they don’t do this to other people, this is wrong and unacceptable,” she said.

The Witness is in possession of digital photographs of the police vehicles concerned and forwarded the registration numbers to the KZN SAPS media centre, which was asked to comment on the matter.

One of  the four police vehicles used by the police officers who were accused of brutality while conducting a search  at the homestead of the Dladla family on Wednesday.

The Witness also sent a list of questions to the police asking what the guidelines are in respect of searching people’s property and to verify which police station the officers were from.

The police did not respond to these questions. They said the allegations raised by the Dladla family were being investigated by Bishopstowe police and said they encourage the family to continuously liaise with the investigating officer to be updated on the progress of the investigation.


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  police brutality

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