ICD probes cops for robbery

Penwell Dlamini

Penwell Dlamini

The Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) is investigating claims that Free State police robbed two Somali refugees of a large consignment of clothing.

ICD spokesman Dikeledi Phiri said the complaint referred to an incident that allegedly took place on September 3 in Edenburg, near Bloemfontein.

The two Somalis were driving a truck from Johannesburg to Cape Town.

In a sworn affidavit, Gedi Abdi Dirie said the police stopped his truck in Edenburg. He said the truck was loaded with 475 boxes containing clothing, shoes, caps, toys and cellphone prepaid airtime cards.

Dirie said the incident happened at around 9.30pm. "The police ordered the driver, Dahir Mohamed Aadan, to head to the police station. And when he asked for a reason, the police took the car keys, opened the truck and loaded 85 boxes into a police vehicle."

A lawyer representing the two men, Lawley Shein, said: "With their poor English, the two Somalis tried to ask why they were being ill-treated, but their efforts were in vain as they were allegedly fined R500 for reasons not known to them.

"After a couple of hours at the Edenburg police station, the police officer that had taken the truck keys came back and allegedly demanded R6500 from Mohamed Aadan to get his keys back. That was the money he was to use for diesel. The whole nightmare ended at 5am the next day," Shein said.

Phiri said the ICD would decide whether to press charges against the policemen once the investigations were completed.