Cape Town - A 40-year-old Hanover Park father has been booked off work for a month after he was left with a concussion after allegedly being beaten by a group of soldiers and cops at his home.
Bradley van Harte was standing inside the gate of his home at Hallman’s Walk at about 8pm on Sunday when a convoy of police vans and army trucks pulled up.
The family says five cops and soldiers beat Bradley with guns and rifles and rained down blows on his face, head and body.
They allegedly also beat his fiancée with a gun, and threatened her blind, elderly mother and the couple’s three daughters, aged 4, 8 and 17.
A traumatised Monique Lottering, 31, says as a dazed Bradley staggered into the house, the soldier who started the altercation removed his helmet and smashed her fiancé across the back of the head with it until he passed out.
On Wednesday, Bradley, who is a junior technician at an installation company, said he was in pain and struggled to speak.
He does not remember details of the attack and Monique fears he may have brain damage.
She says he has been diagnosed with a concussion, several cracked ribs and whiplash.
“I just remember the beating starting. I remember Monique, her mother and my girls screaming and I felt helpless. I woke up at Heideveld Day Hospital,” Bradley tells the Daily Voice.
Monique says she and Bradley were smoking in the yard, watching the convoy when the trouble started.
“I speak loud, man, and this officer stopped and asked if there is a problem. Bradley was behind the gate and he asked me what is it now,” she says.
“The officer told me to stand back and he kicked in the steel gate. He started hitting Bradley and four other officers came and also hit him.”
Monique, who celebrated her birthday on Sunday, says she tried to reason with the officers, but was hit with a gun on the side of her abdomen.
Her blind mother, Annelise, 57, says she was coming down the stairs when the same officer screamed at her to “f*k*f” back up the stairs.
“My kleinkinders het getjank en geskree en die soldate het gesê ons moet ons bek hou en f*k*f,” she says. (My children cried and screamed, then the soldiers told us to keep quiet.)
“The girls saw their father being beaten. My eight-year-old granddaughter is in counselling at school after this. Why are they attacking innocent people?”
Monique says the officers left and the convoy moved further down the road.
She says Bradley is not the same anymore: “He takes long to respond or does not hear me even when I am right in front of him.
“I want them to pay for whatever Bradley needs to get better.
“The army was supposed to save us from gang violence and shooting, but nearly killed my future husband.”
Monique opened a case with the police, who have referred the matter to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate.