Mob justice outrage
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.