Cape Town - A Kewtown mom has asked the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) to probe the conduct of an Athlone police officer after he allegedly slapped, choked and dragged her out of her home. Veronica Franciscus, 60, says she and her son, Kyle, 31, were wrongfully arrested over the weekend and the cop even tried to kill her dog, but missed and shot another police officer instead.
The traumatised nurse says the drama unfolded on Friday shortly after 10pm when a “Sergeant Gabriels” from Athlone SAPS wanted to search her son for drugs. She says her son was standing outside their home when the sergeant approached him and her son called her.
She says as her son opened the garage door, their pit bull came out and the officer demanded he close the door. “We closed the garage door and the dog was inside. My son had a pocket knife on him that fell on the ground,” says Veronica.
She says within minutes two more vans arrived on the scene and the officer pushed her to the ground and pepper-sprayed her son, who ran through the garage into the house to wash his face. She says the officer demanded he open the front door, and damaged their Trellidor safety gate.
“I told Kyle to open the door because he was going to kick it in. As Kyle came out, the dog slipped past him and Kyle was holding the dog. Gabriels shot into the ground and then aimed at the dog, but missed and shot his own colleague in the foot, ” says Veronica.
Veronica says she ran into the house to phone her cousin and the officer came into her bedroom where he allegedly slapped and choked her before dragging her out of the house and throwing her into a police van. Officers also allegedly assaulted Kyle and arrested him.
The mom spent the night in jail and was released on R500 bail the next day, while Kyle was released only on Monday. The family hired Advocate Leon Fielies who says the mother and son were charged with assault, resisting arrest and obstructing the course of justice.
“What we don’t understand is resisting arrest for what? What crime was committed? They (cops) never found any drugs,” he says. The case was postponed to July 12 for further investigation. Fielies says the family laid criminal charges against “Gabriels” and will also be taking on the state for a civil claim.
Police spokesperson, Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana, confirms a case of assault gross bodily harm is being investigated against police members stationed at Athlone Police Station. Ipid has confirmed they are investigating the officer involved.