Probe starts into police dog incident

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

Two senior officers from the Umkomaas police station on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast, who set dogs on alleged hijackers while they were handcuffed, will know their fate once an internal probe is completed.

Police spokesman Director Phindile Radebe said they had started the internal probe.

"We have not yet completed our investigation," Radebe said. "We ask to be given time to complete our investigation."

Radebe refused to say what action would be taken against the officers. The police inspector and sergeant, whose names are known to Sowetan, had not been formally charged and are still on duty.

The officers were identified after an independent complaints directorate (ICD) investigation.

The probe came after an prime time expose of police brutally against the suspects.

On video footage of the incident the police are seen standing with folded arms and laughing while another officer sets the dog on the suspect.

The incident left the nation in shock after seeing dogs sink their teeth into a handcuffed man near a sugar cane plantation.

ICD provincial head Tabiso Ralo said they went to Umkomaas police station to investigate the matter after viewing the video.

"We found the members who were involved in the incident through the dog register," Ralo said. "And the victims were Xolani Dube, Vusi Maphumulo and Sibongiseni Luthuli.

"They were remanded in custody and detained at Umzito Prison," she said.

Ralo said the victims claimed they had been instructed by the officers to get out of the hijacked vehicle and they complied.

"They were handcuffed before being taken to the sugar cane field where police set dogs on them," she said.

A case of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm has been opened at the Sawoti police station.