Picture: Nhlanhla Phillips/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Johannesburg - Metro police officers who were enforcing by-laws in Alexandra came under attack from hawkers who brutally assaulted them as the public watched.

The hawkers did not want the metro police offices impounding their goods and reacted violently to that.

A female officer was brutally assaulted by male hawkers and had to be taken to hospital for treatment.

According to the Johannesburg Metro Police spokesperson Wayne Minnaar, the officers were at the Pan African Mall in Alexandra on Sunday to enforce by-laws.

They then started impounding the goods of the hawkers who were trading on narrow streets and that was when they were attacked.

In a video that was taken at the scene, a man is seen brutally attacking the female officer, punching her. As he does, another man violently pushes a male officer who is nearby.

As the female officer is being assaulted, people surround them and another man hits her with something he's holding.

WHEN THERE IS NO LONGER RESPECT FOR THE LAW, SOCIETY BECOMES A LAW UNTO THEMSELVES. pic.twitter.com/nQrn3mzsu6

— REZA (@crimeairnetwork) October 22, 2019


Other metro police officers come to her defense and lead her away from her attacker and as she's walking away,  another man slaps her. 

The mob follows her, hit her and push her to the ground.

The attack only stops when a man helps her up and asks the community not to beat her up.

when pipo get shot AGAIN WE WILL CRY THESE OFFICERS ARE RUTHLESS

— Khayalethu🙏 (@adventistkaiser) October 22, 2019


Minnaar said the mob was targeting that female officer and he did not know why.

"Officers regrouped and returned to Pan African Mall where they arrested two suspects. The two were charged at Alexandra Police Station for assault and interfering with an officers in the execution of duty," he said.

Officers went back to the mall on Tuesday for a bigger raid, he said.

The police must be given license to draw their guns and shoot the perpetrators in such situations. Maybe then citizens will start respecting the police.

— Lesedi 🇿🇦 (@Les_Ndlovu) October 22, 2019


Minnaar said officers get attacked when they enforce by-laws and he did not know why communities do that.

Asked why they don't use their firearms to protect themselves, Minnaar said they were not allowed to just use guns hence the officers regrouped and went back to the people who attached them.

The Star