Professor allegedly assaulted by Tshwane cops says he will not back down
Speaking to Pretoria News yesterday, Professor Andre Thomashausen said it was disappointing that five months after he was attacked as a passenger in a car by three metro police officers “.... there has been no response or any engagement whatsoever”.
“I maintain that they kidnapped me and abused me because they had no legal grounds to arrest me.
“We are stonewalled and it sends a bad message to other officers that they can do what they want with impunity and no consequences will follow.”
He said they could not be taken to task for mistreating motorists such as Dr Emmanuel Taban, a Trichardt pulmonologist, who was recently stopped on his way to work without reason, throttled and abused, and his wife was verbally assaulted.
Thomashausen said he would not take the matter lying down and as difficult as private prosecution was, they would go this route.
He said he has friends in embassies who were scared to use their vehicles, and who now arranged to be followed by another car ready to film incidents.
“We are approaching a dangerous level where the officers could be found to be out of control. I won’t simply desist and forget. I want to pursue it to remind those higher-ups that they must exercise the mandate given by the voters, as most of the abuses never make it to the press or legal proceedings.”
Civil rights organisation AfriForum’s prosecution unit has also written to Tshwane metro police chief Lieutenant-General Johanna Nkomo requesting that a group of officers be made available for consultation with regards to the matter.
“The prosecution is related to two incidents during which the metro police officers allegedly acted inappropriately when they pulled off Kymie du Toit (a teacher from Pretoria) and (in a separate incident) the German professor, André Thomashausen.
“AfriForum is acting on behalf of Du Toit and Thomashausen in the organisation’s private prosecution against the officers in question.”
Last month, AfriForum announced a comprehensive campaign against the alleged misconduct and abuse of power by some Tshwane officers.
In a letter to Nkomo, AfriForum demanded that she took serious steps against the officers.
In a reply to AfriForum’s letter, Nkomo said the investigation into the Thomashausen incident found that the professor did not suffer any visible injuries and therefore no grounds existed for suspecting misconduct or to justify reasons for disciplinary action against the officers.
Head investigator at AfriForum’s private prosecution unit Andrew Leask said: “Although we welcome the comprehensive reply to our letter, we cannot ignore the fact that they are neglecting to act against these officers.
“We find it concerning that there is an increasing trend for the government to launch quick, one-sided investigations into the misconduct of officials.”
He said these investigations usually found the officials innocent, even though thorough consultation usually proved these hurried findings to be irrational.