Johannesburg - “I can do whatever,” a police officer screams at a Pretoria motorist as the heated argument between the two escalates into violence.
The altercation, near the N4 Bakwena/N1 South interchange on Friday, takes place in broad daylight. The maze of traffic could be seen passing the scene, but this doesn’t stop the exchange of profanities.
This shocking encounter is cast into the spotlight when David du Toit, the man who is on the receiving end of the Gauteng traffic officer’s wrath, posts a video of the attack on his Facebook page on Friday.
In a corresponding caption, Du Toit explains how he was physically attacked by the officer.
“This officer immediately attacked us for no reason! Slapped our bonnet, broke our keys and left me with a bleeding thumb. Pushed me and poked me in the face,” he writes on his Facebook page.
“If I defended myself I would’ve probably slept in jail the whole weekend. Who the hell is he to do whatever he wants and get away with it?”
The video, which has been shared several times on social media at the weekend, was filmed by Du Toit’s partner, who is sitting in the front passenger seat. It shows the couple passing an accident scene, and as they get nearer, the officer redirects them into another lane to allow the crash scene to be cleared.
The officer bangs on Du Toit’s bonnet when he questions his directions and goes on to remove the keys out of the vehicle. This prompts the enraged motorist to jump out as he demands an explanation from the officer.
The two men continue arguing, and the officer eventually shoves Du Toit in his chest. The officer’s female colleague then attempts to intervene in the scuffle, but he pushes Du Toit once more.
When the female traffic officer eventually manages to separate the pair, Du Toit takes his partner’s cellphone and films the officer.
As he does this, the officer again begins screaming at the motorist, insisting that “he could do whatever he wanted” as Du Toit failed to comply with his instructions and could have caused an accident.
The officer has been suspended pending an investigation into his conduct.
“It is alleged that, on being approached by the officer, the motorist became aggressive,” Gauteng Community Safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, four police officers captured on CCTV footage gunning down Khulekani Mpanza in Krugersdorp while he was lying down have been arrested. The officers have also been suspended.
They were due to appear in the Krugersdorp Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, Independent Police Investigative Directorate spokeswoman Grace Langa said.
Their arrest and suspension was confirmed by police spokeswoman Colonel Noxolo Kweza. “More suspensions against other members are being considered,” she said.