Issued by Mike Waters – DA Deputy Chief Whip in Parliament and Lethabong Constituency Head
Two DA Councillors were attacked and assaulted by South African Police Service (SAPS) officers at the Edenvale police station on 10 August 2018.
Councillors Tracey Lourenco and Simon Lapping were both assaulted by SAPS members, resulting in Cllr Lourenco suffering a chipped bone to her ankle with a detached ligament.
The Edenvale police station is notorious for police brutality, with their abuses having been exposed on Carte Blanche. It is unfortunate that little has changed at the station, despite promises from both the Provincial and National SAPS structures that turned out to be empty.
Charges have been laid against the police officers and the Independent Police Investigation Directorate (IPID) has been made aware of the matter so as to conduct an internal investigation.
The DA has launched a petition calling on the National Police Commissioner to institute an inquiry into the station. We will submit the petition to the National Commissioner and all residents are urged to sign it here.
The assault began when Councillor Lourenco began video recording the poor treatment that another citizen received at the hands of these officers. Eight to 10 SAPS officers then entered the charge office and one of them, (who’s name is known to the DA) tried to take Councillor Lourenco’s phone from her, she refused to hand it over was then thrown to the ground, kicked and stomped upon.
Her daughter managed to take the phone at that stage before being overwhelmed by SAPS officers, who then took the phone before dragging Cllr Lourenco and her daughter to the cells. Cllr Lapping witnessed the event. When he indicated that he would take a photo of the Constable, he was grabbed and pulled inside the police station. As they went through the glass door, it was smashed into his body and the force broke the door. He was then also taken to the cells.
Around 22h30 the station commander, Col Sookraj and Col Struss arrived and facilitated the release of the Cllrs, the daughter and sister. Cllr Lourenco’s phone was returned but the video footage of how the young man was treated had been deleted. An act of defeating the ends of justice.
It is totally unacceptable that people are attacked and assaulted at a police station and that evidence is then deleted from their phones. The SAPS is meant to protect people, not to assault them. It is time that the ANC government deals decisively with the SAPS brutality. I will ask questions in Parliament to hold the government accountable.