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Police criticised

By Riot Hlatshwayo | Mar 05, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

A WELL-KNOWN businessman was admitted to hospital with severe injuries after police allegedly assaulted him in an apparent attempt to squeeze the truth out him about an alleged armed robbery that took place earlier this week.

The 30-year-old man, who is known to Sowetan, was arrested on Wednesday afternoon after an armed robbery at the Hazyview post office on Tuesday morning.

Shortly after his arrest the man was allegedly assaulted by the police, who wanted him to confess to having been part of the gang that robbed the post office of about R500000.

The man's family members called Sowetanyesterdaym, complaining that he was seriously injured after having been assaulted by the police, who locked him up at the Nelspruit police station.

"We established that he was injured but police refused to take him to hospital," said a family member who asked not to be identified.

The man was later taken to the Rob Ferreira Hospital after Sowetan challenged the police about their reasons for keeping an injured person in police cells.

Captain Leonard Hlathi, spokesperson for the provincial police's organised crime unit, confirmed that the police took a man into custody for questioning on Wednesday and that he was taken to hospital, where he was under police guard yesterday.

"We are not doctors and cannot determine the extent of his injuries," Hlathi said.

"However, if his claims that he was assaulted are true, it is his right to open a case of assault against whoever assaulted him."

He confirmed that police suspected that the man might have been one of the robbers because the getaway car that had been used in the armed robbery fitted the description of the BMW the man owned.

The drama at the post office started when a guard from GA Security Services walked out of the post office's back door to be met by two armed men who forced him back into the post office.

They forced the guard to show them where he had put the money he had been carrying.

The staff at the post office were also held hostage before the robbers fled with the cash in a black BMW similar to one owned by the arrested man


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