Prominent Ladysmith businessman, Frikkie Kruger, has stepped in to assist victims of a violent assault at the hands of SAPS VIP Protection officers.
IOL reported on Monday that the ordeal, filmed via a cellphone camera, shows officers armed to the teeth, beating a driver and two others on the side of the road, near the e-Toll Tarentaal in Gauteng.
Speaking to IOL, Kruger said he has been in touch with the victims' families and has offered financial assistance through the Ladysmith Community Forum, an organisation that works to protect the interest of Ladysmith residents.
He declined to comment on the content of his conversation, adding that he did not want to share information without their consent.
"We want justice to be served. It is important that they are financially able to handle this. It is important to get all the information if there are any legal ramifications," Kruger said.
He said the incident was first brought to his attention after it was noted that the victims were from Ladysmith and while he has yet to obtain all the details of the matter from the victims, he is speaking to the family to find out more and wanted to assist with legal fees.
“It is important that the family gets legal representation. They need to be shielded from any requests for information and also to understand to what extent they can share. There are going to be legal ramifications for this and in that case, we want to make sure that the family does not have the added burden of legal fees and drop the case or charges because they cannot afford to carry that burden. We want to make sure that justice prevails,” Kruger said.
Police have confirmed that they have tracked down the victims and are obtaining their accounts of the event.
“The police officers involved have also been identified and will be subjected to internal processes. Management of the SAPS views this as serious and will get to the bottom of this incident,” national SAPS spokesperson, Brigadier Athlenda Mathe said.
Police watchdog, the Independent Police Investigative Unit said they have been in contact with the victims’ families and an investigation is under way. Ipid national spokesperson, Robbie Raburabu said the officers are cooperating with the investigation.
It has since been established that the unit is attached to Deputy President Paul Mashatile.
Make these thugs famous! Allegedly cops of VIP protection unit. This is an atrocity. This is what happens when the police is used as an iron fist for the state. Apparently in Johannesburg today. What will happen to them @SAPoliceService? Whatever happened to serve and protect?! pic.twitter.com/mkImtSNpmw— Ian Cameron (@IanCameron23) July 3, 2023