By Chantelle Benjamin
Six Johannesburg metro police officers have been positively identified as having been involved in the April assault on Ivory Park residents Andries Ndlovu and Joseph Khumalo.
The six, who took part in an identity parade on Wednesday 23 May, have been transferred to the metro police’s building in Loveday Street where they will carry out administrative work.
They are no longer working on the streets as officers.
They face internal disciplinary action and criminal charges for bribery and corruption.
The April assault came just days after Corruption Watch released a report into corruption involving Johannesburg Metro Police Department.
Johannesburg metro police spokesperson Wayne Minnaar said the six had not been suspended.
“It can take a long time for cases to be finalised and we want to avoid a situation where they are being paid a salary while suspended. This way they are off the streets but can still perform a duty.”
Footage, of Ndlovu being beaten by four metro police on 20 April on uMnotho Street in Ivory Park, was secretly videoed and sent to the Sunday Times.
It emerged that Ndlovu had gone to the aid of 60-year-old Khumalo, who had been beaten by police after asking for a receipt for window frames the police had confiscated.
According to the vendor, Thato Mokobe*, Ndlovu’s beating apparently went on for about five minutes, although he only filmed about 22 seconds of it.
Mokobe, adding that the incident also involved shots being fired at Ndlovu, said the attack occurred the second time the police officers came to uMnotho Street.
Thirty minutes before, they had seized goods from vendors who had refused to pay a bribe.
According to Mokobe, a R50 bribe was the general asking price from metro police.
He said they had only begun asking for bribes in the past two months. Before that they had generally concentrated on hawkers outside the nearby Ivory Park shopping centre.
Ndlovu, who did not have a formal stand, but sold cigarettes and sweets at the site, told Corruption Watch that it was common practice in Ivory Park for metro police officers to confiscate goods and tell traders they will have to pay a fine to collect them from the Ivory Park police station, but the goods were not their when the vendors arrived.
This was confirmed by Mokobe.
Ndlovu said he had lodged a case of assault at Ivory Park police station.
Minnaar said as far as he was concerned the officers had been charged for assault crime at the Midrand police station.
“The prosecutor will no doubt link the two cases against the officers for trial,” he said.
Another officer taken off road duty
A female officer, who was reported by an employee from the Zimbabwe government for demanding R1 000 for an expired licence disk on 24 April, without providing a receipt, has also been taken off road duty and placed at the administration building pending the outcome of her disciplinary and criminal cases.
The officer, who threatened the motorist with arrest unless he paid the fine, allegedly failed to hand over a machine-printed receipt and gave him a hand-written notice instead.
She was later positively identified in a line up and arrested by the Internal Affairs Unit.
Her case was lodged with the Hillbrow police station.
* Name has been changed to protect the individual’s identity.