20 June 2011
Minister has tasked Gauteng provincial police management to look into incident
MINISTER MTHETHWA CONDEMNS ALLEGED LAWYER BEATING IN VEREENIGING
Call for an urgent investigation into the incident to ensure those responsible are punished
The Minister of Police, Nathi Mthethwa today condemned with contempt the alleged beating of a Vereeniging lawyer this past weekend and called for an immediate investigation into the incident.
According to a report in today's Sowetan newspaper, headlined "Police swore, kicked and punched me. They called me k****r" it said that Mr Thomas Mahlobogoane was attacked by three police officers on Friday night while driving home. The report further alleges that during this attack, he was refer to as a k****r.
Minister Mthethwa has tasked the Gauteng provincial police management to urgently investigate this incident and provide him with an update on progress within 7 days. He said post democracy it is totally unacceptable for anybody, whether a police officer or a civilian, to still be referred to with derogatory names.
"Reading about Mr Mahlobogoane's account with the police is quite disturbing, particularly as police are supposed to be protectors of society not abuse them.
We shall not pre-empt the outcome of this investigation but I have tasked the police management to get to the bottom of this. If indeed they were wrong, we shall ensure they are punished because we do not need such officers within our midst, those who in 2011 still refer to people with a k-word," he stated.
When police officers join the South African Police Service they are bound by a clear code of conduct which includes respect for human rights. The police leadership shall continuously build and strengthen relationships with communities; thus not allow a few rotten cops to destroy these partnerships through reckless conduct and utterances.
"Such disturbing incidents inflict the deepest violations of people's rights, going to the extent of violating even the right to life. That is why we say as the police leadership, that those amongst us who commit such crimes, we must be punished," concluded the Minister.