Samwu con­demns ‘em­bar­rass­ing’ at­tack of of­fi­cer by con­gre­gants

The New Age (Gauteng) - - GAUTENG NEWS - NTOMBI NKOSI ntombin@the­newage.co.za

THE South African Mu­nic­i­pal Work­ers Union (Samwu) con­demned the at­tack on a Jo­han­nes­burg metro po­lice de­part­ment of­fi­cer (JMPD) by church mem­bers of the Rev­e­la­tion Church of God.

“Samwu con­demns this at­tack on the of­fi­cer, it is fur­ther em­bar­rass­ing that church mem­bers could as­sault an of­fi­cer of the law un­pro­voked and while ex­e­cut­ing his du­ties.

“We com­mend the of­fi­cer for hav­ing have shown max­i­mum re­straint and fur­ther wish him a speedy re­cov­ery from the shock and bruises which he suf­fered as a re­sult of the at­tack,” Samwu na­tional spokesper­son Papikie Mo­hale said.

Mo­hale said JMPD of­fi­cers and other law en­force­ment of­fi­cers are con­stantly un­der at­tack from crim­i­nals, it can’t be cor­rect that the very same peo­ple who are sup­posed to be hold­ing the moral high ground have also joined in on such at­tacks against law en­force­ment of­fices.

“We com­mend po­lice for hav­ing ar­rested a church mem­ber for the il­le­gal pos­ses­sion of a firearm is­sued to the JMPD of­fi­cer.

“We fur­ther call on the po­lice and JMPD to in­ten­sify all ef­forts to en­sure that all per­pe­tra­tors are ar­rested and face the full might of the law,” Mo­hale said.

In the video, a group of church mem­bers are seen run­ning to­wards of­fi­cer Siphiwe Se­bati, whose gun is seen point­ing in the air.

He is heard warn­ing con­gre­gates that he would shoot. They are heard shout­ing and dar­ing him to shoot.

The com­mo­tion came af­ter of­fi­cers were en­forc­ing the city’s by-law, when a mo­tor ve­hi­cle be­long­ing to one of the church go­ers was il­le­gally parked on a pave­ment.

When the of­fi­cers ap­proached the ve­hi­cle to im­pound it, they were greeted by a large an­gry group of church mem­bers who pounced on them.

Se­bati was sub­se­quently ad­mit­ted to a Jo­han­nes­burg pri­vate hos­pi­tal af­ter sus­tain­ing in­juries in the at­tack. He was dis­charged yes­ter­day.

“The of­fi­cer is trau­ma­tised, he is re­ceiv­ing coun­selling,” JMPD spokesper­son chief su­per­in­ten­dant Wayne Min­naar said.

Mean­while, the Inkatha Free­dom Party’s Gaut­eng cau­cus leader Bonginkosi Dh­lamini said: “As the IFP in Gaut­eng, we strictly con­demn the be­haviour of the con­gre­gants.

“Law and or­der are an in­te­gral part of our so­ci­ety as laws are in place to pro­tect ev­ery­one re­sid­ing in the prov­ince. The pub­lic should there­fore ap­pre­ci­ate this and give due re­spect to the po­lice to dis­charge their du­ties.

“We can­not live in a law­less so­ci­ety where chaos and anar­chy reign. The cul­prits be­hind this de­spi­ca­ble be­haviour must there­fore face jus­tice.”

Nikelwa Pongco, a Jo­han­nes­burg res­i­dent, said she did not like po­lice storm­ing in­side a church dur­ing a ser­vice.

“This is dis­ap­point­ing, tav­ern-go­ers oc­cupy pave­ments and roads all the time, peo­ple are be­ing killed in the streets – what does our govern­ment do? The church go­ers were mis­treated,” she said.

Church leader Der­rick Sibisi said they felt they were at­tacked af­ter sources told them that the JMPD wanted to shut down the church led by prophet SB Radebe.

CON­DEMNED: Samwu spokesper­son Papikie Mo­hale.

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