Another metro officer assaulted
Beaten senseless by gang of four while shopping with wife
CONSTABLE Landile Zwedala, who was beaten up by four men while buying food with his wife, says there is a general disregard for metro police officers by society, and this is causing a great deal of fear among his colleagues.
Video footage of him being assaulted by four men has emerged and is doing the rounds on social media.
That people stood around and took pictures while he was being punched and kicked until he lost consciousness, was worrying, he said.
“There is no regard for metro police officers on the streets. Society feels they can take us on,” the 38-year-old officer said.
In his two-year stint as a metro officer, Zwedala said he had encountered numerous incidents which showed lack of respect for his profession, but nothing like the latest one.
“Someone will be violating the the rules of the road and when you try to warn them with a hooter or a siren, they swear at you and raise their middle finger,” he said.
A visibly shaken Zwedala, with two black eyes and bruises to his face and head, spoke to the Pretoria News in the presence of spokesperson Senior Superintendent Isaac Mahamba, saying he was terrified to go to Tambotie Mall in Randfontein after what happened to him.
Zwedala said he was buying food with his wife at Roman’s Pizza on a Saturday afternoon at about 5pm, on their way back from church.
While in the queue, he noticed four men pinning down a man at the car park, not too far from where he was.
The officer, who was off duty and in civilian clothes, rushed to find out what was happening.
“Although I was off duty couldn’t let this happen,” he said.
Bystanders just looked on while security guards ignored the incident completely.
As he got closer, he instructed the men to stop assaulting the man, who he described as “small and vulnerable”.
But the four ignored him and carried on assaulting the man.
“I told them I was a police officer and had a pistol with me. And looking back that was probably the biggest mistake I made,” he said. I
Without warning one of the four charged at him and gave chase while the rest followed, Zwedala said.
In a desperate attempt to save himself Zwedala ran back to the mall for cover. While running back to the mall he was tripped by a man standing at the entrance near the Mugg and Bean restaurant.
“And that is when my world came crashing down, literally kick by kick. In the video footage taken by a female bystander Zwedala is seen being kicked, punched and dragged across the floor, by the four men.
“While they were hitting me I was more concerned about securing my pistol because I didn’t want it to end up in the wrong hands,” he said.
He was then disarmed and his pistol thrown aside and the men continued to assault him.
In the video one of the men is seen kicking Zwedala after he tried to stand up, before he collapsed again.
“What was even more sad than the men beating me up, was the people just standing around taking videos and photos.
“What has become of the human race? Instead of lending a helping hand, we take videos for social media to have something to speak about,” he said.
His wife then secured his pistol and told the four men that her husband was a metro officer. The four then fled the scene.
It is believed that the owner of Mugg and Bean had been watching the whole incident on his CCTV camera and subsequently called the police.
The owner was also able to identify one of the men as an employee at a shop inside the mall.
Zwedala laid charges against the men. “While laying the charges I was stopped and called to come and identify two of the men who had handed themselves in, which I did positively,” he said.
The men were arrested on the spot but later that night released on R500 bail.
Zwedala’s problems were far from over, as a couple of days later a case was also opened against him.
“They said I had apparently approached the four men while they were minding their business and threatened to shoot them,” he told the Pretoria News.
This comes against the backdrop of a Johannesburg metro police officer being attacked by churchgoers for trying to tow an illegally parked car obstructing traffic.
It is understood the car belongs to a member of the church in Hillbrow, and during the assault one of the officers was disarmed, assaulted and left unconscious.
Said Mahamba: “We as the department are going to be working closely with the police to get to the bottom on this matter. We condemn any beating of police officers, more especially with the information at hand that our member was trying to rescue a member of the public who was assaulted.” The matter is due to be heard by the Randfontein Magistrate’s Court on November 23.
What has become of the human race? Instead of lending a helping hand, we take videos for social media Constable Zwedala
Tshwane Metro Police officer Constable Landile Zwedala was assaulted by a group of four men when he tried to assist a man they were assaulting.