A flurry of accusations have ensured that both SAPS and IPID will have plenty to investigate over the next few days. A group of suspects in Welkom, Free State have filed a criminal complaint against two police officers, who were seen making an arrest without wearing their masks. However, their side of the story has also been shared.
According to the suspects, they are convinced that the officers in question assaulted one of them. He can be seen keeping the young male in a tight headlock. One bystander is panicked by this and shouts ‘you are killing him’ at the SAPS officials.
However, in a statement issued earlier today, the police department said that the altercation began with suspect initially refusing to put his mask on, and the pair from SAPS ended up ‘having their masks removed’ during the ensuing scuffle. One of the cops claims his arm was injured after his door was kicked by the alleged offender.
Welkom Police officers Stop Racism pic.twitter.com/VPsxCxMOyo
— Pro Harris SA (@ProHarris2) February 10, 2021
As stated by SAPS, things turned very ugly, very quickly in this part of Welkom. A slew of charges and counter-charges have since been laid – with the officers filing complaints of common assault, resisting arrest, failure to wear a mask, interfering or obstructing a police officer while performing his or her duties, and Crimean Injuria against the suspects.
“Thus far the preliminary investigation has revealed that the two police officials, the Warrant Officer and a Captain were patrolling the streets of St Helena in Welkom when they saw a person not wearing a mask, they called the person and warned him to wear the mask, and he started insulting them.”
“As required by the law they had to arrest him for refusing to wear the mask after he was warned. Unfortunately, while they were executing the arrest there was a scuffle while other bystanders also tried to prohibit the police from arresting the suspect. It is during this scuffle the masks of these police officials fell down.”
“After managing to get the two suspects into the car, one member of the community seen on the video kicked the door of the vehicle which injured the warrant officer’s arm. One of the suspects opened a case of assault against the police at Welkom police station, and it will be investigated by IPID. The officers are seeking five charges against the suspects,” SAPS statement read.