Heavily armed VIP Protection Unit officers caught on camera assaulting three SA National Defence Force members have been pulled from Deputy President Paul Mashatile’s protection detail.
Initially police said six officers had been served with notice to suspend letters, now that number has been moved up to eight.
It is understood that the officers are now office-based pending the outcome of the investigation.
Speaking at a media briefing this week, SAPS Commissioner General Fannie Masemola, explained in detail the process the police was undertaking in their investigation.
“In the past, we undertook processes where members were suspended for eight hours or 12 hours but the courts found us at fault for doing that so immediate suspension becomes problematic. We are sticking to what’s there in the disciplinary regulations and follow processes properly,” he said.
The assault was filmed on a cellphone by a passenger travelling on the highway. It shows the officers alighting from two vehicles, pulling the driver out of a blue VW Polo and assaulting him. Two other passengers were also assaulted.
The driver, L’vaughn Fisher, has since spoken out about the incident, stating that he thought it was a hijacking.
Speaking to IOL, Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) spokesperson, Robbie Raburabu, confirmed that charges of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, pointing of a firearm and malicious damage to property were opened at the Sandton police station, however, he said arrests can only be effected after investigations have been concluded.
Source : IOL