A video depicting police officers assaulting two men has been making the rounds on social media in recent days. On Wednesday morning, however, SAPS in the Western Cape released a statement regarding the viral video and said an investigation had been launched into the conduct of the two Worcester police officers.
Preliminary findings stipulate that the police officers are attached to the Worcester policing unit. It also states that the men, who were assaulted, are still unknown.
— Yusuf Abramjee (@Abramjee) January 20, 2021
The video depicts two police officials assaulting two men behind a police van in what appears to be a parking lot. One officer can be seen sjamboking a yet-to-be-identified man and another can be seen searching and slapping another man.
“The SAPS in the Western Cape has with immediate effect instituted a probe. The investigation is led by the Worcester Cluster Commander, Major General Nomthetheleli Mene,” said Brigadier Novela Potelwa.
Preliminary findings have, thus far, revealed the following:
- The incident occurred in Worcester near an industrial area on Monday 18 January 2021;
- The police vehicle in the video belongs to Ceres police station (hence the marking on the side of the van) but is currently utilised by a police unit in Worcester;
- The police officials captured in the video have been identified and are SAPS employees attached to a unit in Worcester; and
- The two individuals (one searched, slapped and another sjamboked) are yet-to-be-identified and interviewed as part of the investigation
“Further investigation into the matter is expected to also shed light on what had happened prior to the recording commencing,” added Potelwa.
The South African Police Service (SAPS) in the Western Cape went on to say that the beating up and manhandling of individuals and/or suspects, as was committed by Worcester police officers, is against departmental directives and prescripts that govern the handling of persons by police officials.
“In addition, the use of a sjambok by police officials is not only forbidden but unlawful,” said Potelwa.
“A plea is hereby made for space to be given for the sanctioned investigation to unfold and be finalised soon. Speculation about what actually happened, including the disclosure of names of the police officials involved, would at this stage of the investigation, be detrimental to the probe that is underway,” added Potelwa.