Heavily armed SAPS VIP protection unit members who assaulted a motorist and passengers to face the full might of the law

Protection service beating up young boys on the side of a road. Picture: Screengrab.

Protection service beating up young boys on the side of a road. Picture: Screengrab.

Published Jul 4, 2023


Johannesburg - The blue light brigades were at it again - this time they were caught on camera assaulting three people, one of whom was even seen passing out.

A video captured by a motorist went viral on Monday night. It had people, mostly civilians, calling out the illegal behaviour of a group of men who are believed to be members of the SAPS Protection Unit.

The victim, who eventually passed out, was seen being dragged with a sweater he was wearing. The men were seen kicking the victims so hard that some even lost their shoes.

During the altercation, a young child is seen quickly running to the back seat of the VW Polo.

The men are seen unashamedly holding their firearms, and another one is holding a knife, which was used to damage the tyres of the car belonging to the victims.

As soon as the perpetrators were done with the victims, they rushed back to their cars. One victim is seen standing up, and two are seen still lying on the ground, dazed and confused.

It appears that the blue-light brigade travelled in three black cars, one with registration BWM 258 B.

The incident happened on the N1 highway in the Fourways area of Johannesburg.

By 9pm, a video shared by anti-crime activist Yusuf Bramjee, had been shared by at lead 800 000 Twitter users.

Last night, police said in a media statement that a process to trace the victims of the alleged assault by SAPS members is under way.

This morning, police confirmed successfully tracing the victims and identifying the SAPS members.

"The SAPS have since successfully traced the victims of this incident. The process to obtain their statements continues as part of the probe. The police officers involved have also been identified and will be subjected to internal processes. Management of the SAPS views this as serious and will get to the bottom of this incident," said SAPS national spokesperson Brigadier Athlenda Mathe.

Last night, Mathe said the internal departmental investigation into the conduct of the members was under way. The SAPS distances itself from the conduct and behaviour depicted in the video, which do not align with the values and code of conduct of the SAPS, which outlines the values and principles that all SAPS members are expected to uphold, including integrity, professionalism, accountability and respect for human rights.

Mathe further said the National Commissioner of the SAPS, General Fannie Masemola, has condemned the behaviour of these members.

"Members of the SAPS are meant to uphold and protect the fundamental rights of every person and exercise the powers conferred upon them in a responsible and controlled manner. Such action cannot be condoned regardless of the circumstances," said Masemola.

Speaking to The Star, Ipid said the police had no right to assault anyone.

"We have just received the footage from Members of Parliament (Whitfield from the DA and Terblanche from FF+). We still need to track down the victims so that the matter is properly investigated," said Ipid national spokesperson Robbie Raburabu.

Andrew Whitfield, MP, DA, Shadow Minister of Police, said the blue light must be brought to book.

"The DA is deeply disturbed by the video circulating on social media showing individuals, who appear to be members of the SAPS VIP policing unit in official vehicles in Fourways, engaging in the physical assault of two civilians by the roadside while brandishing their firearms,“ said Whitfield.

"The footage is highly distressing and raises serious concerns about the conduct of those who are supposed to uphold the law.

“The brutal and unwarranted attack by half a dozen heavily armed men, allegedly SAPS members, on unarmed motorists cannot be condoned, and immediate action must be taken. Has the ANC government lost that much control of the country that armed thugs allegedly on government business can savagely beat, kick, and threaten motorists just trying to get home or get to work?

"The attack, filmed by motorists on the N1 in Fourways, cannot be swept under the table. The perpetrators must be arrested and charged with assault within 24 hours. These brazen bullies can be easily identified from not only the video but also from.“

The Star

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