Cape anti-gang unit being probed for alleged assault of kickboxer
Cape Town – The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) will be investigating allegations of police brutality within the Cape Town Anti-Gang Unit (AGU) after the alleged assault of a kickboxer.
Renier van der Vyfer, a kickboxer from Parow, said he was out with friends three weeks ago when he was allegedly kidnapped, assaulted and had his personal belongings taken by AGU members.
“I went out for lunch at Steers with some friends in Long Street and while walking back to the car, we decided to go to the beach.
“As we were driving towards Camps Bay side, not even halfway (there) about five to six vehicles stopped us. We were pointed at (with guns) and thrown to the ground.
“Officers told me if I lift my face, they will shoot me. They asked if we had firearms, I said no, they searched the vehicles but found nothing. We were handcuffed tightly and thrown into the van,” Van der Vyfer said.
He said the officers then drove the group around the Sea Point, Camps Bay and Cape Town areas for about two-and-a-half hours.
“We were then taken to Sea Point police station. When we got there, they could still not say what we were arrested for.
“I was taken into an office which they cleared and officers started beating me. About 30 minutes later, the AGU general came into the office and told them to moer (assault) me because I am sterk gevriet (bullish).
“I was beaten with a pipe across my chest, was kicked on my body and chest, they kept on hitting me.”
He said the handcuffs were so tight that he lost feeling in his hands, which swelled up.
At about 10pm that day, he said the officers then instructed him and his friends to leave.
“They had no charges when they arrested me. They picked me up, assaulted me and then let me go just because. It’s not right. When I asked for our cellphones, they flat out refused.
“I am angry, because of the handcuffs my hands are messed up and I won’t be able to fight until next year. I filed charges against the officers and went to the doctor to confirm my injuries.”
Provincial police spokesperson Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana confirmed a case of assault had been opened at the Cape Town Central police station.
“Please be advised that a case of assault was opened and referred to Ipid for investigation,” Rwexana said.
ANA asked the Western Cape Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz what was being done about the seeming increase in cases of alleged police brutality in the province involving the AGU.
"I will raise these cases with the provincial commissioner and if nothing is done, I will raise the cases with the national minister,“ said Fritz.
“If the incidents of police brutality persist, I will have to take the unusual step of obtaining an interdict against the police to stop the AGU from (harassing) the public,” Fritz said.
Ipid is also investigating a case allegedly involving AGU members after Lero Oliphant, 30, from Elsies River, died after allegedly being assaulted in AGU custody.
Fritz said his department would be following up on Oliphant’s death at the next Ipid forum meeting.
“The Western Cape Safety Act requires that the South African Police Service provide the department with quarterly reports on such cases.
’’However, their arrival is often delayed. I have previously written to the SAPS a while ago asking them to report in terms of the act,” Fritz said.
He urged residents to contact the police ombudsman if they believed officers were acting outside their mandate.
African News Agency (ANA)