Pretoria - The Tshwane Metro Police Department has confirmed the arrest of 11 of its officers, who spent the weekend behind bars for allegedly assaulting three men with sjamboks at the beginning of the month.
The officers were locked up at the Pretoria Central police station. It is claimed that they assaulted the three men who wanted to forcefully remove their vehicle that had been impounded on October 2.
Metro police spokesperson Senior Superintendent Isaac Mahamba said that when they were informed of the allegations, their internal affairs unit that dealt with conduct of members was immediately instructed to investigate the matter and determine the possibility of an internal disciplinary process.
“The matter was given full attention and the department co-operated with the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid). Further investigations led to the arrest of 11 members allegedly involved in the assault of the three men.”
Ipid spokesperson Grace Langa confirmed the arrests and said the officers would appear in the Tshwane Central Magistrate’s Court today.
On its Twitter page, Ipid said the arrested officers comprised nine men and two women, and they condemned the act. “No law provides for police to sjambok anyone. Police can only use force when their lives are under threat; they have no rights to assault anyone.”
Ipid further said the role of the police was to arrest, and nothing else. Assaulting people meant that they were playing the role of police officer and judge.
It questioned where the officers got the sjamboks from because the government did not offer these to its officers. Ipid further questioned whose interests the police were serving by using sjamboks and assaulting citizens.