Rastafarians in Wellington march over 'police brutality'
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Cape Town - Rastafarians in Wellington have marched to their local police station, accusing officers of brutality and trampling on their human rights.
The protest and collective outrage among the groups came after the alleged beating and death of Wellington father Jan de Bruin, 48, allegedly at the hands of police last month.
De Bruin was arrested during a raid for drugs at his home. According to a family member, police assaulted De Bruin and others inside the house after De Bruin enquired if police had a search warrant.
According to community activist Ras Hein Scheepers, the Rastafarian community is calling for the suspension of the officers involved in De Bruin’s death.
“We call for an urgent investigation of Wellington police station where Jan de Bruin died in custody,” said Scheepers.
He added: “We are calling on Ipid not to cover up police brutality as the new decade commences.”
One of the organisers, Gareth Prince, addressed supporters and police present: “There exists a culture of disrespect and impunity among perpetrators of human rights violations among SAPS and local government law enforcement agencies. These abuses cannot be allowed to continue within the state of South Africa, perpetuated by individuals employed in the public service.”
Police spokesperson Andre Traut said the march was monitored by police. Following the handover of a memorandum to the station commander, the group of protesters peacefully dispersed just before 2pm.
Traut added that no incidents of violence were reported.
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