Ipid to probe sjambok assault video, says cops are from anti-gang unit

Police watchdog confirms it has identified the victims and that a case has been opened against the officers involved

21 January 2021 - 13:52 By TimesLIVE
Police are still looking for victims of a sjambokking incident which was caught on camera and shared this week. File image.
Police are still looking for victims of a sjambokking incident which was caught on camera and shared this week. File image.
Image: 123RF/Ivan Kokoulin

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) has identified two men who were assaulted — one with a sjambok — by three police officers in Worcester, in the Western Cape.

This after the police watchdog launched an investigation into the incident, which was captured on video. Criminal charges have been opened.

The footage depicts three police officers, one beating a man with a sjambok and another searching and slapping a second victim. The third officer is present during the alleged assaults.

The incident took place on Monday.

Ndileka Cola, the directorate's spokesperson, said: “Ipid has managed to identify the two  victims who are seen in the video footage being slapped, searched and sjambokked by AGU [anti-gang unit] members. The victims have opened a case at Worcester police station and Ipid continues to investigate the matter.”

Earlier, Cola said they had identified the AGU members captured in the video footage.

The police have also opened an investigation.

Police spokesperson Brig Novela Potelwa said this week that the investigation was being led by the Worcester cluster commander, Maj-Gen Nomthetheleli Mene.

Potelwa said the police took the incident seriously: “The beating and manhandling of individuals and/or suspects is against departmental directives and prescripts that govern the handling of people by police officials.

“In addition, the use of a sjambok by police officials is not only forbidden but unlawful.”

TimesLIVE


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