Police minister sued for nearly R1mComment on this story
Cape Town - A Lavender Hill man, who alleges that a Steenberg police officer used a hockey stick to beat him “in order to teach him manners”, is suing the Minister of Police for close to R1 million in the Western Cape High Court.
Ashley Phillips says he doesn’t know why he was arrested, but that the officer who allegedly assaulted him, identified as a Superintendent Goolam, claimed he wanted to teach Phillips manners.
In papers filed at the High Court, he said police started harassing him three days before Christmas in 2011 when several officers, accompanied by members of the defence force, broke down the door of his home and stormed in, searching him and his friends as well as the house.
Although nothing illegal was found, his house was often raided after that and the raids intensified from March 2012 to three to four times daily.
“My place of residence has been searched by members of the SAPS to such an extent that I suffered various damages, from the back door that was broken, my main power box and switch were broken, my furniture and household items were thrown around… and virtually each piece of furniture was broken by the SAPS members. I also bought a new bed which was also broken.”
Phillips added that police damaged his front and back doors and threw his clothes under running water in the shower.
In April 2012, several raids took place in the space of three days, Phillips said. Eventually, in October that year, he was arrested at his mother’s house in Steenberg with his cousin, Dale Phillips.
They were held in a room at the Steenberg Police Station where Goolam, who allegedly called himself “the boss”, beat them with a hockey stick.
“(Goolam) furthermore informed us that he is from Durban and that he would teach us manners,” Phillips said, adding that the policeman insisted they remove a flag from a lamp-post.
But Phillips had no knowledge of any flag and told Goolam they did not know what he was talking about.
“It was clear that at the time (the police officer) hit me and my cousin, he had the intention to do more than inflict casual and comparatively insignificant and superficial injuries which flow upon an assault.”
He said he was not told why he was arrested.
After his release he sought medical treatment and discovered that his arm had been fractured.
He later succeeded in a court application to interdict the police from raiding his home.
However, he said the assaults continued despite the interdict.
Phillips is suing for R910 000. His cousin and friends have instituted separate actions for various amounts in damages.
Phillips intends to apply for default judgment on August 25.