Mob jus­tice out­rage

The Star Early Edition - - FRONT PAGE - ZO­DIDI DANO AND SAPA

THREE law en­force­ment of­fi­cers have been sus­pended by the City of Cape Town for ig­nor­ing a mob-jus­tice vic­tim in Delft who later died.

On Tues­day, a video of the in­ci­dent was handed to the lo­cal au­thor­ity.

Safety and se­cu­rity depart­ment ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Richard Bos­man said the city was dis­turbed by the al­le­ga­tions.

In the video, a woman is shown re­peat­edly beat­ing the man with a sjam­bok in front of a crowd of sup­port­ers.

The bleed­ing man is shown lean­ing help­lessly on a pole in an open yard. His jeans are torn and stripped down, his head cov­ered in wounds drip­ping with blood, while his thighs are bruised. When the woman fin­ishes beat­ing the man, three law en­force­ment of­fi­cers emerge.

They walk ca­su­ally to­wards the vic­tim. One is eat­ing a ba­nana and another is seen shak­ing hands with a res­i­dent.

The of­fi­cers watch as the man groans in pain while res­i­dents take pic­tures of him with cell­phones.

A sec­ond woman ap­pears, shout­ing at the man and point­ing at him with a pair of pli­ers.

Ac­cord­ing to me­dia re­ports, it is al­leged that the in­ci­dent oc­curred last Thurs­day.

It is al­leged that the man was a scrap metal col­lec­tor who was ac­cused of steal­ing some goods in one of the res­i­dents’ yard.

Yes­ter­day, Bos­man con­firmed that the coun­cil had viewed the video.

He said the video made it im­pos­si­ble to de­ter­mine whether the of­fi­cers were present at the time of the as­sault. But an in­ves­ti­ga­tion was un­der way.

“The mat­ter is re­ceiv­ing ur­gent at­ten­tion, in­clud­ing a full in­ves­ti­ga­tion to de­ter­mine when the in­ci­dent oc­curred and whether the of­fi­cers sought med­i­cal as­sis­tance for the vic­tim.”

Western Cape MEC for Com­mu­nity Safety Dan Plato said the in­ci­dent broke the trust be­tween the com­mu­nity and polic­ing ser­vices.

“The tragic in­ci­dent in Delft saw re­ac­tionary fail­ures from both law en­forcers and the pub­lic, which has to be cor­rected.”

Plato said the of­fi­cers’ in­ac­tion “was a cause for grave con­cern”.

“Law en­forcers, be it the metro po­lice or provin­cial traf­fic, stand at ser­vice to the en­tire com­mu­nity, and in in­ci­dents of vi­o­lence can­not be mere idle by­standers.” He wel­comed the of­fi­cers’ sus­pen­sion.

RE­LENT­LESS AS­SAULT: A man pleads for mercy as a woman beats him with a sjam­bok in Delft near Cape Town. After the beat­ing, three po­lice­men ar­rived on the scene but failed to as­sist the vic­tim, who later died of his in­juries.

OB­SERV­ING: A po­lice­man, right, eats a ba­nana while look­ing at the se­verely in­jured vic­tim.

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