Cops ac­cused of beat­ing up Soweto add icts

The Sunday Independent - - METRO - MANYANE MANYANE

RE­COV­ER­ING drug ad­dicts have al­legedly been on the re­ceiv­ing end of po­lice bru­tal­ity, re­port­edly trig­gered by the good press the group of ad­dicts re­ceived re­cently.

The group of re­cov­er­ing ad­dicts, from Or­lando in Soweto, two weeks ago told The Sun­day In­de­pen­dent about their de­sire to change and cre­ate a drug free so­ci­ety.

Ac­cord­ing to the young­sters, the po­lice of­fi­cers at­tacked them af­ter the ar­ti­cle ap­peared in the pa­per on Septem­ber 23.

El­iz­a­beth Masilo, one of the young peo­ple who formed a non­profit or­gan­i­sa­tion, said a po­lice of­fi­cer called her “Miss News­pa­per” in the first at­tack on Septem­ber 25.

“The same hap­pened again on Wed­nes­day night.

“This was be­cause of the ar­ti­cle… They came two days af­ter the ar­ti­cle was pub­lished,” said Masilo.

When The Sun­day In­de­pen­dent vis­ited the group on Fri­day, Masilo had a bruised eye, while her friend was limp­ing.

“They came with pipes, sjam­boks and me­tal ob­jects and beat us. They even told some of the guys to strip naked, and (they) beat them.

“They told me to shut up when I told them they shouldn’t beat us,” she said.

The Sun­day In­de­pen­dent has seen pic­tures of the re­cov­er­ing ad­dicts with scars and bruises.

“The sad part of it is that I told them I am only try­ing to help the guys quit their habit as they are strug­gling.

“This was not fair be­cause even on Wed­nes­day they didn’t find sub­stances on any one of us. They just beat us for noth­ing,” he said.

Or­lando West po­lice spokesper­son Nomvula Mbense con­firmed the case was opened on Fri­day.

“Those were po­lice from the Or­lando clus­ter and we will in­ves­ti­gate the mat­ter.

“This was not right, they are not al­lowed to beat peo­ple,” said Mbense.

Moses Dlamini, a spokesper­son for the In­de­pen­dent Po­lice In­ves­tiga­tive Direc­torate (Ipid), said the case had not been re­ported to the po­lice watch­dog.

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