Conduct of VIP protection members described as barbaric

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Deputy President Paul Mashatile says he supports the investigation into the incident involving members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) who are a part of his protection detail.

The officers were filmed assaulting civilians in Johannesburg on the N1 over the weekend. The video of the incident is circulating on social media. Civilians are seen being dragged on the busy road and assaulted by the guards.

Mashatile has condemned the incident.

“We have issued a statement from my office, you will get it, we don’t condone behaviour of people being beaten by anybody, we condemn that. We support the Commissioner of Police to investigate the incident and make sure whoever is responsible is brought to book.”

Meanwhile, COPE has called the conduct of the VIP Protectors barbaric.

The party has also called for Police Minister Bheki Cele to take full responsibility for their conduct. There has been growing condemnation of the action of the VIP protectors since the video clip of their alleged assault emerged.

COPE spokesperson Dennis Bloem says police officers must be arrested immediately.

“The barbaric actions of the VIP Protectors must be condemned. Their action reminds some of us of the brutality of the apartheid police. These police officers who were involved in this brutal assault must be arrested immediately and be charged. COPE calls lawyers for human rights to assist the victims who were assaulted by these VIP Protectors, lawyers must bring a civil action against the Minister of Police Bheki Cele.”

Civil rights organisation Action Society is calling for police to act swiftly in dealing with the police officers. Action Society’s Ian Cameron says immediate remedial action should be taken against the officers.

“It’s absolutely disgusting to see the behaviour of these thugs. They call themselves police but they certainly cannot be called that. They are criminals and should be prosecuted as such. We hope that as Action Society, the victims in this case go ahead with criminal procedures. We hope that everything will be done in the State’s power to prosecute them.”

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