DA to lay assault charges against police

2015-02-13 22:26
The accused DA members leave the Magistrate's Court on 13 February 2015 in Cape Town, Western Cape. The five are scheduled to re-appear in court on 26 March 2015. (Tina Hsu, News24)

The accused DA members leave the Magistrate's Court on 13 February 2015 in Cape Town, Western Cape. The five are scheduled to re-appear in court on 26 March 2015. (Tina Hsu, News24)

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Cape Town – The DA plans to lay assault charges against the police after five of its members were arrested outside Parliament on Thursday hours before the State of the Nation.

The five members appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Friday after their arrest on Thursday.

Hundreds of DA supporters had gathered with placards outside Parliament before the address when water cannons were fired. DA members Deon Basson, Marius Redelinghuys, Ricardo Saralina, Shaun August and Bernard Lotriet were forcibly removed and arrested by police.

“It was definitely police brutality”, said DA spokesperson and Member of Parliament, Phumzele van Damme. “There was an excessive use of force.”

One of the five arrested, MP Marius Redelinghuys told News24: “I was pushed around and after falling down twice; on the second time the police officer picked me up and said now I’m arresting you for standing in front of a police officer.”

Redelinghuys was put in the back of a police van where the other four members were held. They were released from the police station at about 02:30.

“It was a very forceful arrest,” added Redelinghuys, “Especially of Shaun August who was picked up by four police officers and carried off into a van. They were holding his hands and his feet.”

The five members are charged with convening a gathering without notice and for refusing to disperse when instructed to.

Pumza Marubelela, media officer to Redelinghuys asserts that it was a peaceful gathering.

“We were behind the designated lines with placards,” she said.

Marubelela added that the gathered DA supporters wanted to inquire about the state of South Africa’s electricity system.

According to Redelinghuys, the five were assessed by medical practitioners. Several members had suffered injuries including bruises, fractured ribs and back and neck pains.

They are scheduled to re-appear in court on 26 March 2015.


   

DA members and supporters leave the Magistrate's Court on 13 February 2015 in Cape Town, Western Cape. (Tina Hsu, News24)

Read more on:    police  |  da  |  cape town  |  politics  |  state of the nation 2015  |  parliament 2015

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