An off-duty SAPS detective has opened a case of assault against six eThekwini metro police officers who he says attacked him like “vultures on a carcass” after he asked for a fresh disposable breathalyser when he was stopped at a roadblock.
Detective Warrant Officer Goolam Farouk said he was returning home from work on Friday at about 8pm when he came to a roadblock on Higginson Highway, Chatsworth.
“I was pulled over and forced to take a breathalyser test. I asked for a new mouthpiece,” he said, adding that it was his right to do so.
“I feared that the tube might have been contaminated by drugs or alcohol by others before me
But the officers would hear none of it, said Farouk, 57, who has been with the SAPS for 27 years and is based at Bayview police station.
He said they accused him of being arrogant and refusing to co-operate, before dragging him from his car and assaulting him. “After being punched, kicked in the hip and chest, I fell on the ground. I thought I was dying,” he said, adding that he had heart bypass surgery two years ago.
Farouk said he would have to go for trauma counselling after the alleged attack.
After the alleged beating, he said, he was threatened with arrest, but accepted the breathalyser after a metro policewoman replaced the tube.
“My breath recorded normal and I was cleared of any illegal substance,” he said.
“Their captain told them that I am a policeman, but I overheard them saying: ‘F*** him (referring to Farouk), we do not care if he is a cop,’” he said.
As a devout Muslim, as well as an imam at a local mosque, Farouk said he does not drink.
His heart condition also prevented him from drinking.
Farouk said the officers who beat him appeared to be young and he questioned the discipline among recruits to the metro police.
Metro police spokesman, Eugene Msomi, insisted that they did not re-use breathalyser mouthpieces.
“That can’t be true,” he said.
“A traffic officer on duty pulls out a new, sealed mouthpiece for each motorist.”
Msomi said the matter would be investigated only once the SAPS had presented the metro police with a case number.
Captain Thulani Zwane confirmed that a case of common assault had been opened at the Chatsworth police station. Investigations were continuing.