Cops still on duty as assault docket goes missing

Given Mahlalela

Given Mahlalela

Three Mpumalanga policemen who allegedly assaulted an orphan who couldn't reveal the whereabouts of his brother are still on duty - and no charges have been laid against them.

A case of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm was opened at their police station - but so far nothing has happened.

Sources within the police station have revealed that the docket detailing the case against them "was removed" by other police officers - to protect their colleagues.

The police allegedly assaulted Mlungisi Matsebula, 17, of the Schoemansdal Trust, Mpumalanga, some weeks ago.

Three policemen attached to the Schoemansdal police station allegedly assaulted Matsebula to gain information from him. Information he said he didn't have.

The youth claimed the police officers were drunk when they assaulted him.

Matsebula, who said his hand was injured in the assault, told Sowetan that he was at home when three police officers confronted him. They were looking for his brother.

"They said I would pay dearly if I did not tell them where he was," Matsebula said.

"After I had told them that my brother was not at home they demanded that I produce three bullets they claimed I was keeping in the house.".

He claimed that when he could not produce the bullets the officers started beating and kicking him repeatedly.

He was later admitted to Shongwe Hospital and was discharged after treatment on the same day.

The Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) has confirmed that charges of improper conduct on duty or defeating the ends of justice would be laid if it were found that the case was not being investigated properly.

"We are taking note of the case," said ICD spokesman Dikeleti Phiri.

"If any indication of foul play emerges we will establish our own investigation."

Schoemansdal police station spokesperson Constable Nompilo Qwabe declined to comment.

He would not explain why the police officers had still not been charged.