‘It’s a paid holiday!’ Action Society slams suspension of VIP Protection officers implicated in N1 assault

Published Jul 11, 2023


Action Society has slammed the suspension of eight officers implicated in an assault on a motorist, L’vaughn Fisher and two others, on the N1 highway a week ago, as "a paid holiday".

Last week, police confirmed that the officers had been issued with notice of intent to suspend letters by their employer and they were given time to make representation on why they should not be suspended.

By 8 pm on Monday night, SAPS national spokesperson, Brigadier Athlenda Mathe, confirmed that the members had been suspended in terms of the SAPS Disciplinary Regulations. She declined to comment further on the matter.

Speaking to IOL, Action Society's Ian Cameron said the suspension made a mockery of the incident. He added that the officers were “basically placed on special leave or a paid holiday” as they were suspended with full benefits.

"If you or I pointed a firearm at someone, we'd already be arrested and be begging for bail but because they are obviously a law until themselves, they can do as they please," he said.

Meanwhile, the driver who filmed the assault at the side of the N1 highway, claimed he had received death threats since sharing the video.

Cameron said the threats should be taken seriously.

"The threats need to be investigated. I also think it could just be someone being mischievous. I wouldn't be surprised if it was even someone in government or the State making such a threat. There are many cops who are guilty of committing criminal activities who are still in service. Remember between 2013 and 2021, more than 10 000 cops were charged with serious offences and only 50 were suspended," Cameron said.

He said Action Society is still finalising details around the legal action.

"There is a civil case coming. We are finalising all the details around that. We will communicate that in the next 48 hours. We obtained the medical report after the military police tried to withhold it from one of the victims. We managed to get to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate without it being tampered with," he said.

IOL reported that Ulrich Roux of Ulrich Roux & Associates have been mandated to act on behalf of the victims.

“Our mandate is to ensure the criminal prosecution is ensued and that proper prosecution by the NPA is instituted against the police officials,” he told Newzroom Afrika.

“Subsequent to that, we will also be exploring possible civil claims for damages against the police, and the minister of police following this unlawful assault on our clients.”

Roux explained that damages could be instituted against the police officers in their personal capacity, but he needed time to take instructions from his clients.