WATCH: Police launch probe after armed SAPS ‘blue light bullies’ seen beating motorist in viral video

A screenshot of the video. Picture: Ian Cameron/Twitter

A screenshot of the video. Picture: Ian Cameron/Twitter

Published Jul 3, 2023


Police have opened an investigation after a video of SAPS officers armed to the teeth showed them beating a Gauteng motorist and two others in an incident believed to have arisen from an on-road driving dispute.

The police said they had determined that the two black BMW X5s captured in the viral video were indeed owned by the SA Police Service.

They said they were now searching for the three assault victims who were seen being beaten by the police officials after a video clip of the incident went viral on social media.

In the clip, a group of officers are seen alighting from two black BMW X5s before they allegedly drag a man, presumed to be the driver from a blue VW Polo, before assaulting him.

The rest of the officers, some armed with assault rifles and firearms, continue to allegedly assault the man, who appears unconscious.

Two other male passengers were also assaulted. The officers are seen getting back into their vehicles before driving off.

The two passengers stand up while the driver remains motionless on the ground. A woman can be seen getting out of the blue vehicle, but she quickly gets back inside the car.

The incident took place near the e-Toll Tarentaal in Gauteng. It is unclear when the incident occurred.

An unidentified woman who caught the brutal attack on camera can be heard trying to ascertain what may have happened.

She is heard saying in the video recording: "You know what they did, they disturbed them. These ones, they can kill you. I don't wanna lie," she tells people in the vehicle with her.

DA MP Andrew Whitfield, who speaks on policing, said he would do everything in his power to ensure the “blue light bullies” were brought to book.

"I have already engaged the executive director of Ipid and will be demanding that Minister Cele ensure SAPS arrest these thugs within 24 hours,“ he said.

Action Society's Ian Cameron added that the officers should be named and shamed.

SAPS national spokesperson Brigadier Athlenda Mathe confirmed police management had begun a process to trace the victims and obtain statements from them while an internal departmental investigation was already under way.

She said a preliminary report confirmed that the vehicles seen in the video belong to SAPS and that the armed men seen in the video were indeed SAPS members.

"While the internal departmental investigation into the conduct of the members is under way, the SAPS distances itself from the conduct and behaviour depicted in the video which do not align with the values and code of conduct of the SAPS, which outlines the values and principles that all SAPS members are expected to uphold, including integrity, professionalism, accountability, and respect for human rights," Mathe said.

Police National Commissioner General Fannie Masemola has condemned the behaviour of these members.

"Members of the SAPS are meant to uphold and protect the fundamental rights of every person and exercise the powers conferred upon them in a responsible and controlled manner. Such action cannot be condoned regardless of the circumstances," he said.

The victims are encouraged to contact Brigadier Athlenda Mathe at 082 040 8808 for investigation purposes.