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Johannesburg - Police officers who think they are law unto themselves and were brutal with impunity have no place in the South African Police Service, North West Premier Thandi Modise said on Thursday.
“Incidents of police brutality and violence unleashed on citizens by members of the police service have the potential to antagonise communities against the police and should be stamped out before it’s too late,” Modise said in a statement.
“The culture of violence should not be allowed to take root in our police service as it would undermines democratic and accountable community policing.”
The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) said a North West police officer was arrested for allegedly assaulting a man in Setlopo Village, Mafikeng, and dragging him behind a police vehicle.
Modise commended the IPID for the arrest.
The 36-year-old sergeant based at the Lomanyaneng police station was taken into custody while on duty on Wednesday.
IPID spokesperson Moses Dlamini said on March 7 two police officers were allegedly seen harassing a boy near the tuckshop in the area.
“After the police had finished talking to the boy, the complainant called the boy to advise him about what to do should he feel that he was treated badly by the police,” he said.
The man, a court interpreter at Molopo Magistrate's Court, said the same police officers called him to the police vehicle on the driver's side to confront him about what he said to the boy.
“The driver grabbed the complainant by the neck and asked him if he knew what police were capable of these days. The policeman allegedly drove off and dragged the complainant for about 100m,” said Dlamini.
The man suffered injuries to his feet and was taken to hospital by his neighbour.
The matter was reported to police on Tuesday. It was later reported to the IPID.
The sergeant would appear in the Mmabatho Magistrate's Court on Friday to face a charge of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm. - Sapa