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Cape Town -
Police in Lentegeur, Mitchells Plain, have launched an internal investigation into an incident in which two officers allegedly refused to assist an injured man who had asked them for help.
On Friday, investigators invited the man - Alan Bissolati - to the police station, where he recounted his version of events.
He told them that just before 7am on September 10 he had been transporting 11 staff members in a light delivery vehicle.
At the intersection of AZ Berman Drive and the R300 freeway, he stopped at a traffic light and striking workers from the civil engineering industry – suspected to have been from the National Union of Mineworkers – approached his vehicle, smashed the windscreen, dragged Bissolati from the driver’s seat and assaulted him with golf clubs.
“I was injured and ran up to two officers sitting in a police car nearby. They told me to f*** off because they didn’t want to get involved and risk being attacked,” Bissolati told the Cape Argus at the time.
At the weekend, police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Andre Traut confirmed an investigation was under way.
Dismissal from the police service was an option if the members were identified and if the charges proven against them were serious enough, he said.
Bissolati confirmed that he had been interviewed. “After my statement they asked me to describe the officers, but that is not easy to do. I said that if I saw a photo of them I’d be able to say for sure. They said that they would contact me again on Monday (today),” he said, adding that he was pleased with the police’s willingness to “resolve the matter”.
Safety and Security MEC Dan Plato also praised police for their quick reaction.
“This is a great example where a partnership between my department and the police was facilitated by members of the public and the media,” he said.