Man ‘beaten by po­lice’ sues for R2m

Fabian Wyl­lie wants to know why

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - FA­TIMA SCHROEDER

FABIAN Wyl­lie says he lives in fear, mostly of po­lice of­fi­cials, af­ter he was al­legedly beaten for sev­eral hours at the Delft po­lice sta­tion three years ago.

And to this day, the for­mer wood chop­per who lives in Philippi has no idea why he was ar­rested in the first place.

Now Wyl­lie is turn­ing to the Western Cape High Court to sue the national and provin­cial min­is­ters of po­lice for more than R2 mil­lion.

Wyl­lie told the Week­end Ar­gus he left his aunt’s house in Delft and was walk­ing home on the R300 be­tween 10pm and 11pm on May 4, 2010, when a po­lice van drove past. It then turned around and two po­lice of­fi­cials got out to search him.

He said they man­han­dled him, de­mand­ing to know: “Where are the oth­ers?”

But Wyl­lie had no idea what they were talk­ing about.

The po­lice­men didn’t find any­thing when they searched him, he said, but they ar­rested him any­way. Wyl­lie said he didn’t protest be­cause he had- n’t done any­thing wrong, and he had noth­ing to hide.

Min­utes later, when the van pulled into the court­yard of the Delft po­lice sta­tion, the two po­lice­men were joined by about five oth­ers who also asked Wyl­lie: “Where are the oth­ers?”

They pulled out their ba­tons and al­legedly started to hit him all over his body. Blood was ooz­ing from the back of his head.

Wyl­lie said the po­lice of­fi­cers threw a bucket of mop wa­ter over him, then con­tin­ued to beat his wet body.

At one stage he tried to es­cape through an open door, but a fe­male of­fi­cer al­legedly kicked him back into the court­yard. An­other fe­male of­fi­cer told him she couldn’t help him be­cause her col­leagues would turn against her if she did.

His or­deal lasted for more than five hours and, when the next shift ar­rived for duty, the of­fi­cers al­legedly dragged him to the front of the po­lice sta­tion. He was never charged.

As he lay help­less out­side, a woman from the Delft day hos­pi­tal ap­proached him and ar­ranged for a wheel­chair and med­i­cal treat­ment. Wyl­lie was even­tu­ally trans­ferred to Tyger­berg Hos­pi­tal, where he re­mained for a month.

To­day, he fears po­lice of­fi­cers and re­fuses to go to Delft.

Ac­cord­ing to court pa­pers, Wyl­lie sus­tained a se­vere head in­jury, dam­age to his kid­neys, sev­eral frac­tures and deep vein throm­bo­sis. He hasn’t re­turned to work be­cause of his in­juries.

Wyl­lie’s R2.3m claim in­cludes med­i­cal ex­penses, loss of earn­ings and dam­ages.

The min­is­ter de­nied the al­le­ga­tions, claim­ing po­lice had rea­son­able grounds to be­lieve that Wyl­lie had com­mit­ted, or was about to com­mit an of­fence, specif­i­cally in­ter­fer­ing with the safe or free pas­sage of pedes­tri­ans or ve­hi­cles on the R300.

They said he was taken in for ques­tion­ing and re­leased.

A crim­i­nal case against one of the po­lice of­fi­cers is pend­ing in the Bel­lville Re­gional Court.

The of­fi­cer in ques­tion, Al­fonso Hill, has been charged with at­tempted mur­der.

Wyl­lie’s at­tor­ney, Tzvi Brivik, said a date for the case had not yet been al­lo­cated.

PIC­TURE: TRACEY ADAMS

SU­ING: Fabian Wyl­lie of Philippi tells Week­end Ar­gus of his ex­pe­ri­ence at Delft Po­lice Sta­tion three years ago. He is su­ing the po­lice for dam­ages, claim­ing that a group of po­lice of­fi­cers as­saulted him. Look­ing on, from left to right, are his sis­ters, Deb­bie McKerry and Wendy Woodman, and his mother, Ros­aline Wyl­lie.

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