Mmusi Maimane condemns manhandling of Helen Zille by cop at voting station on election day
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Cape Town - Former DA leader and One South Africa movement leader Mmusi Maimane says the manhandling of Helen Zille was “atrocious and unacceptable”.
Zille, who is the DA federal council chairperson, was yesterday dragged out of the Fernwood Primary School voting station in Bethelsdorp by members of the Nelson Mandela Bay police. The video has been doing the rounds on social media platforms.
Maimane took to Twitter to condemn the behaviour of police: “In a democracy built on the principles of human dignity we do not ever condone such behaviour.
“The treatment of @helenzille by the police was atrocious and unacceptable.
“This is the second time today that the police have abused civilians on camera,” Maimane said.
Commenting on the incident in his capacity as DA spokesperson on police and the DA’s chairperson in the Eastern Cape, Andrew Whitfield said his primary concern was the manner in which the police officer handled Zille.
“What we have seen in the South African Police Service over the years, specifically since the beginning of lockdown last year, is an increase in police abuse, brutality and violence.
“There are ways to deal with people. The video of Helen Zille shows that she is cooperating with the police officer, but she is being manhandled, pushed and overpowered when she could quite easily be left to walk on her own under the instruction of the police officer,” Whitfield said.
He added that no member of the public should be manhandled, and placed specific emphasis on her age. “We live in a society where police are responsible for increasing violence, brutality and assault. Coupled with this, we have a country with serious high numbers of gender-based violence,” he said.
Whitfield said that the party would stay on top of the investigation.
The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) is investigating a complaint of assault against a police officer. The watchdog has tried to get hold of Zille, but did not succeed.