Samuel November, 36, said the police officers left him bleeding next to his car until he was roused by a concerned resident. And to make matters worse, when he tried to lay a charge against the officers at Steenberg police station, “they laughed and wouldn’t take my case”.
November had gone to the Shell garage in Military Road just after midnight on Saturday 24 March, to put petrol in his cousin’s Volkswagen Golf, which he'd borrowed to visit his sister-in-law in hospital.
As he was leaving the garage, he was pulled over by officers in two police vans and a black van. According to November, the officers demanded he show them his licence and the car’s registration papers.
'Punching me in the face'
“I showed them the car’s papers and my driver’s licence," he said, "and they dragged me out of the car and started hitting me. They slammed me against the car and then started punching me in the face.
“There were four police officers and two guys in the black van as well. I kept on asking what I did, but they just kept on beating me.”
He said the last thing he remembered was being choked.
“One of the cops was choking me and I couldn't breathe," he said. "The others were scratching in the car. I don’t know what they were looking for, but then I passed out.”
November was woken by a woman who was shaking him where he lay in the road.
“This woman said she heard the commotion and came out to see me lying on the ground,” he said. "The doors of the car were open and the officers were gone. I went straight to Steenberg police station where the officers on duty laughed at me.
“If I was drunk, doing drugs or had done something wrong, it would have been a different thing, but all I did was go for petrol. I want to know why they did this to me.”
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Lay a charge
IPID’s Moses Dlamini said November could lay a charge by going to any police station:
"There are processes to identify suspects," he said, "such as ID parades.”