The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) says they are confident that they have a watertight case against the eight VIP Protection Service unit members. The officers were caught on video assaulting three people on the N1 freeway in Johannesburg, earlier this month.
All eight officers handed themselves over to the Sandton Police Station, north of Johannesburg. The officers were part of Deputy President Paul Mashatile’s security detail at the time of the incident.
The SAPS VIP protection unit officers will all spend the night behind bars after being arrested and charged on Sunday afternoon. The officers were identified after a video clip of the incident went viral on social media. In the clip, the heavily armed officers, who were travelling in blue light vehicles, could be clearly seen alighting from their BMW SUVs before severely assaulting the victims after stopping their VW Polo on the side of the freeway.
The victims are all understood to be members of the SANDF. The exact cause of the incident is still unclear at this stage.
IPID spokesperson, Robbie Raburabu, “They will be appearing in court at Randburg and the charges are assault, pointing of a firearm and malicious damage to property. We are very confident that we have a very strong case against them.”
Raburabu says the investigation into the incident is almost complete.
“We are almost there with the investigations. We could be about 70 to 80%. But the others we are doing them as we go along. Investigators have been out engaging with the victims, they obtained statements from them and they assisted them in opening the case.”
He says two of the victims did sustain serious injuries from the assault, however they are all recovering well.
“As far as we know their injuries are healing and there are two of them that had very serious injuries. But I understand from the investigators that I had conversations with in the past few days, they say they are becoming okay.”