Pretoria – Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa has condemned with contempt the alleged beating of a Vereeniging lawyer and has called for an urgent investigation into the case.
According to a media report on Monday, Thomas Mahlobogoane was attacked by three police officers on Friday night while driving home and further alleges that during this attack, he was referred to as the k-word.
Mthethwa has tasked the Gauteng provincial police management to urgently investigate the incident and provide him with an update on progress within seven days.
He said post-democracy, it was 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,” Mthethwa said.
He further noted that when police officers join the South African Police Service, they are bound by a clear code of conduct which includes respect for human rights.
Mthethwa said police leadership will continue to strengthen relationships with communities, and will not allow a few bad apples to destroy this through reckless conduct.
“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, must be punished,” said the minister. – BuaNews