By Krishnee Naidoo
“We need to go back to the drawing board to fix this recurring problem of allegations of police brutality.”
Speaking to The Phoenix Tabloid, Phoenix Station Commander, Brigadier DB Ndlovu has sternly responded to yet another claim of assault to a Phoenix resident by some Phoenix SAPS officers after the man was arrested for allegedly being involved in a robbery on Friday, 19 May on Hannaford Drive.
Yassin Mohamed, (34), of Whitford, a father of one and breadwinner for his aging parents spoke to The Phoenix Tabloid and claimed he is yet another victim of lawless policemen. “I helped a friend and gave him a lift to Hannaford Drive on my work bike during the early hours of Friday morning. I left to run an errand and when I returned I saw a man running. I left thereafter and my friend walked away on foot. At about 3:30am that morning a group of policemen came to my house and called out. They wanted to know where the bikes where kept. I stated that I was in possession of the one bike which I use for work purpose as I am a delivery driver for a pizza outlet. They then cuffed me and dragged me on the ground to the police vehicle. The complainant who I saw running away earlier pointed out to the police that I was not the man who robbed him. They ignored him and pushed me into the police vehicle where they continued assaulting me,” Mohamed claimed.
He alleged that the police officers took him to a house break-in incident in Kidsbrook where he was assaulted in view of those complainants. Mohamed said he pointed out the suspect responsible for the alleged crime and police picked up the perpetrator as well. “I was further beaten at the police station whilst I was cuffed. I asked for medical attention and was denied my right to a phone call. I am an asthmatic sufferer. I appeared in Verulam Magistrates Court and was sent to Westville Prison thereafter. After a week I appeared again in court. The charges against me have changed and I was released on R500 bail with my case coming up in August. With the beatings I endured, I have suffered fractured ribs and other bruises.
I have lost my job and now my family is suffering too,” claimed Mohamed.
He has registered a case against the policemen at Phoenix SAPS. Brig Ndlovu said that upon hearing of the allegations, violent behaviour from policemen will not be tolerated. “We work within the law. The wheels of justice operate according to the law. Internal investigations and external investigations will be conducted to determine what occurred and thereafter the law will take its course. Action will be taken if parties within the SAPS are found guilty,” said Brig Ndlovu.
Phoenix CPF chairman, Umesh Singh, said, “Reports of police brutality are cropping up frequently and this is a concerning factor. We will follow due processes and get to the bottom of these claims. We do not want the integrity of police to be tarnished either by false claims or by errant police officers. We also want members of the community to feel safe with police but to respect the law and not produce false stories should investigations prove otherwise.”