Friday, March 18, 2011

Cop Brutality Cases Investigated

ICD wades through cop brutality cases


Johannesburg - The Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) on Thursday said it was investigating reports of brutality on civilians by special police units.

"We are ready to investigate and help bring the culprits to book," spokesperson Francois Beukman said in a statement.

Police officers recently allegedly assaulted civilians at a pub and restaurant in Johannesburg.

On February 26, police allegedly stormed the Catz Pyjamas restaurant in Melville and beat up patrons.

Several days later members of a special police unit allegedly assaulted, intimidated and threatened patrons at CJ's bar in Hillbrow.

The ICD was also investigating cases in Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal.

Elite team charged with torture

In November last year, fifteen tactical response team and crime intelligence members were arrested for murder in KwaZulu-Natal.

"In the past year, the ICD arrested and brought before court more than 20 officers from various Organised Crime Units for torture," Beukman said.

The tactical response team, an elite team personally commissioned by police commissioner General Bheki Cele, had mostly been fingered as culprits in allegations ranging from assault and torture to murder, Beukman said.

"These acts cannot be tolerated in a constitutional democracy. Policing in 2011 should be totally different from the apartheid past that we come from."

The ICD urged victims and witnesses to make statements at a police station so that criminal cases could be opened against perpetrators.

Beukman said information provided would be treated with discretion, with no risk of interference by any police officers.

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