Fri Dec 09 07:47:19 SAST 2016

MHALA COPS IN TROUBLE AGAIN

By Riot Hlatshwayo riot@sowetan.co.za | 2010-03-10 00:00:00.0 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

THE controversial Mhala police are again in the news for the wrong reasons.

This time they are accused of severely assaulting a 19-year-old boy with the butt of a gun, allegedly to force him to confess to a burglary he did not do.

This follows reports that the Independent Complaints Directorate has announced that about 36percent of cases investigated against the police were related to brutality.

The latest incident at the Mhala police station in Bushbuckridge started with the arrest of Abednego Khoza.

Khoza was accused of breaking into a house at Agincourt Trust on Friday morning.

The police took him to the police station where a number of detectives allegedly slapped and punched him to force him to admit to a burglary.

Khoza said one of the cops took out a gun and threatened to blow his brains out.

"Knowing that I was fast asleep at the time of the alleged burglary, the policeman's threat came at the wrong moment," he said.

"I told him to go ahead and blow out my brains, which made him very angry.

"He took the gun from its holster and hit me on the eye, causing me to bleed."

He said when the policeman realised he was bleeding he took him to the cell, where he forced him to wash the blood from his face.

Khoza had been behind bars since his arrest on Friday morning and was only released on Monday afternoon without appearing before a magistrate.

His uncle, Moses Mathabela, said he was surprised when the police arrested Khoza because he had slept next to him in the same bed when the alleged burglary took place.

"I really found it strange that this boy would have sneaked out of bed to go and break into someone's house at about 3am without my noticing," Mathabela said.

Mhala police spokesperson Constable Robert Makhubela confirmed that Khoza was released without having appeared in court because "we established that he was not linked to the crime". But he denied any knowledge of the alleged assault by cops.

Khoza was busy consulting with a doctor in Hazyview at the time of going to press yesterday.

Mhala police station shot to infamy when station commissioner Senior Superintendent Khazamula Baloyi shot and injured the branch commander Superintendent Boy Dlamini before turning the gun on himself more than a year ago.

Baloyi died on the spot, while Dlamini died about an hour later in the Tintswalo Hospital in Acornhoek.

A policeman from the station is accused of shooting a pupil to death in a classroom while looking for two alleged criminals.

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