Travellers who were brutally attacked by Deputy President Paul Mashatile’s VIP protection unit officers on the N1 in Joburg last week have hired legal representatives to ensure that the police officers were prosecuted, and the possibility of filing civil claims was being explored.
“Our mandate is to act on behalf of three of those four victims of the highway assault,” renowned attorney Ulrich Roux of Ulrich Roux & Associates spoke to Newzroom Afrika.
“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 the broadcaster.
“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 the damages could be instituted against the police officers in their personal capacity, but he needed time to take instructions from his clients.
“Our first mandate is to ensure that the prosecution is ensued and that the [National Prosecuting Authority] NPA does prosecute the matter properly after the police or [Independent Police Investigative Directorate] Ipid in this instance has investigated the matter. Subsequent to that, we will pursue a damages claim,” he said.
“There is no clear instructions on that yet, but normally when you institute a civil claim for damages against the police, you institute that action against the policeman in their private capacity as well as against the minister of police.”
On Monday night, the SA Police Service (SAPS) announced that it had suspended the eight police officers caught on camera assaulting occupants of another car.
The officers were shown alighting from two black SUVs vehicles, pulling the driver out of a blue VW Polo and assaulting him. Passengers were also heavily assaulted.
According to national 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.
Mathe said that the SAPS wishes not to discuss the matter further.