Richards Bay - A KwaZulu-Natal father of two is living in fear after he was allegedly assaulted by a police officer in a road rage incident.
The officer allegedly also threatened to shoot him and his family with his service pistol.
Several days later, Richards Bay resident Jozua Joubert said he saw the same officer following him on the road.
Joubert, a boilermaker who recently moved from Mpumalanga to Meerensee in Richards Bay, now fears the officer is watching his family’s every move.
Speaking about the incident, which occurred last Friday, Joubert said he sat helplessly in his car while being assaulted by an off-duty Richards Bay officer, who at one point pulled out his service pistol and threatened to shoot him.
He said the officer, who was wearing civilian clothes, repeatedly punched, slapped and tried to throttle him in full view of his wife and hysterical children – and passing motorists – during the 10-minute ordeal.
When Joubert tried to put up a fight, the officer allegedly pulled out his service firearm, pushed it into Joubert’s bloodied face and swore at him and threatened to kill him.
“He kept on punching me while screaming and swearing,” Joubert, 34, said. “I was terrified. I thought I was going to die.”
Joubert’s wife, Engela, drove her wounded husband to the police station and to their horror they found the man already at the police station.
“That’s when we found out he’s an officer. During the whole ordeal he never identified himself,” Joubert said. A case of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and attempted murder is being investigated.
Police spokeswoman Captain Debbie Ferreira confirmed the incident and said the docket was handed over this week to the Independent Police Investigation Directorate (Ipid).
However, acting Ipid spokeswoman Grace Langa said because the officer was off duty at the time of the incident, the unit would not investigate the matter. “We only investigate cases in which a police officer was on duty.”
Recalling events that led to the alleged brutal assault, Joubert said he was driving his two teenage children to school with his wife when he noticed a white Toyota Corolla driving closely behind his Honda Civic.
“As we went over speed humps this vehicle drove right up to the rear of our car, so close that I could not even see the front of his vehicle,” he said.
Joubert said he drove faster to try to get some distance between them, but the vehicle continued tailing him.
At one stage he said he noticed that he was driving at 94km per hour in a 80km/h zone.
“Then all of a sudden this vehicle pulled up next to us, the driver opened his window and shouted and swerved towards our vehicle,” Joubert said.
This was repeated several times, he added.
The man then brought his vehicle to a halt in front of Joubert’s car and stormed towards him. “At this stage my whole family was in panic and I asked my wife to phone the police.”
That’s when the man, Joubert said, started punching him through the open car window. He then returned to his vehicle and came back with a gun.
“I was bleeding profusely, but he continued to hit me with the gun on my head while he pointed it at my wife and kids, threatening to shoot us all,” he said.
The officer only stopped assaulting Joubert when he was pulled off him by one of a number of bystanders.
The family drove to the police station and were shocked when they were informed that the man was a police officer. “Some of the officers didn’t want to help me open a case, insisting that I should first go to a hospital and get myself cleaned up,” he said.
But Joubert refused and a case was finally opened.
He said his family was now living in fear after he saw the same vehicle following him on Tuesday. “The officer is obviously trying to intimidate me to drop the case, but I won’t back down until I see justice,” he said.