Man to sue police after arrest
A MLUNGISI man has cried foul after he was mistakenly identified as a criminal and subjected to alleged police brutality.
An emotional Andile Gwabe visited The Rep office, saying that two police officers arrived at his Bede home in September in the company of a woman who said he was seen by community members stealing appliances from her home.
“The police searched for the appliances without a warrant. The woman was pleading with me to give them back, but I told them that I did not steal them and did not have them. The police then said they were going to arrest me on Monday.”
He said they and the woman’s brothers returned on the Monday, handcuffed him and took him to the police station while the brothers went to find the person who had identified him as the alleged thief.
He said he was not put in a holding cell, but was handcuffed from 1pm to 5pm.
“I asked the police who arrested me to loosen the cuffs because they were painful. They ignored me and just tightened them.”
He said by the fourth time the handcuffs were tightened, he begged the police to put him in a cell.
“They said, 'We know your type, you cause trouble in the community' and kept me in the office.”
Gwabe said when the police left, he managed to leave the station and took a taxi to the Komani police station. He said police uncuffed him though the cuffs were barely visible on his swollen wrists.
He said he was given a J88 form to take to Frontier Hospital and sent to New Rest clinic where the wounds were dressed. A nurse told him she feared tendon damage and that he should return to the hospital, which he did last Monday. He was told to return on October 30 and that he would undergo physiotherapy.
On Thursday, police showed up at his house again, telling him he was under arrest.
“I asked to take my pain tablets, but they refused and said I would get an injection at Frontier for pain. I could not sleep in the holding cells.”
He said when he arrived at court the next day, he was told the charges had been dropped.
Since then, the person who had bought the stolen television, had apparently told police that Gwabe had not sold it to him.
Gwabe said he was angry. “I did not resist arrest, they did not read me my rights, I was shoved, I was presumed guilty even before they were done with their investigation. I will sue the police.”
Police spokeswoman Captain Namhla Mdleleni said if investigations indicated wrongdoing by police members, steps would be taken.
PAINFUL: Andile Gwabe shows off the injuries to his arms