Police forced me to drink with hijackers - victim
Durban - A hijacking victim claimed he was forced into a drinking session by three policemen with the men who tried to steal his car at gunpoint.
Simon Fakude, a sangoma from the Eastern Cape, alleged that instead of apprehending the suspects, the policemen who attended to his complaint, appeared to be “friendly” with the alleged hijackers and forced him to drink vodka and beer with them.
Fakude’s Toyota Corolla apparently went missing while police took him on a drinking spree that lasted nearly two days.
SAPS spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane said they were unaware of the case until the Sunday Tribune inquired about Fakude’s allegations, and have since launched a full investigation.
Fakude was travelling to Mbombela (formerly Nelspruit), Mpumalanga, recently, when three armed men allegedly forced him to stop while driving through a rural part of Kokstad.
He managed to flee on foot while the hijackers searched the car for valuables.
With help from a local resident, Fakude was able to return to the scene where he had abandoned his vehicle, with police. To his surprise, Fakude said his car and the alleged hijackers were still there, and police spoke cordially to them.
“They seemed to know each other well. They shared jokes, and the police officers didn’t seem concerned about what had happened to me,” Fakude said. “I was then asked to travel in the back of the police vehicle with the hijackers. I complied with their instruction, thinking we were heading to a police station.”
Fakude said that’s when the hijackers began to threaten him, and out of fear, he apologised for alerting police.
He alleged the policemen drove to a tavern and bought two bottles of vodka. He said he couldn’t refuse to drink with the police and the hijackers while they travelled 80km to a park in Underberg for a session of drinking.
“I felt traumatised. I thought the police came to my rescue but they seemed to be friends with men who pointed guns at me.”
Fakude claimed the police bought more alcohol before they returned to Kokstad police station later that day.
He said the policemen went into the station while he and the other men waited in the vehicle. According to Fakude, they drove to one of the policemen’s home for another long session of drinking.
Fakude was eventually dropped off at a service station in Kokstad, almost two days later. He said the ordeal had left him without a vehicle as he did not have insurance cover and had diminished faith in the police.
“We will investigate the allegations and take steps against those officers involved. The victim will be contacted and a statement taken. The local cluster commander has been tasked to fully investigate the matter,” Zwane said. Fakude confirmed that he had been interviewed by police investigators this week.