SAPS suspend eight VIP Protection Unit officers over brutal assault of three men on N1 in Joburg

Published Jul 10, 2023


Police confirmed the suspension of Deputy President Paul Mashatile’s VIP protection unit officers accused of brutally assaulting three men on the N1 in Johannesburg last week.

The attack was caught on camera by a passenger travelling on the highway.

The officers were shown alighting from two vehicles, pulling the driver out of a blue VW Polo and assaulting him, and two other passengers were also assaulted.

According to police spokesperson Brigadier Athlenda Mathe all eight police officers that were involved in the N1 assault case have been suspended in terms of the SAPS disciplinary regulations as of Monday, July 10 2023.

Mathe said that the SAPS wishes not to discuss the matter further.

This comes after it was reported that the three victims, who are attached to the SANDF, opened a case against the Deputy President Paul Mashatile’s VIP protection officers who assaulted them on the N1 in Johannesburg.

Mashatile was not in the car when the victims were seen being kicked in the head by the heavily armed officers.

It was confirmed that the victims were military trainees, while the driver is a member of the SA National Defence Force.

“The victims were en route from Johannesburg to Pretoria when a black SUV appeared next to their vehicle while one of the occupants of the SUV was pointing a firearm at the victims' vehicle,” said SA Defence Union national secretary general, Pikkie Greeff.

“The victims' vehicle was subsequently boxed in by more SUVs and forced to the left side of the N1 highway. The occupants of the SUV exited their vehicles, surrounding the victims' vehicle and attempted to smash the windscreen of the victims' vehicle and assault the occupants of the vehicle,” he said.

Speaking to IOL, Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) spokesperson, Robbie Raburabu, confirmed that charges of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, pointing of a firearm and malicious damage to property were opened at the Sandton police station, however, he said arrests can only be effected after investigations have been concluded.