'Cop kicked me as I lay on sidewalk'
A 23-year-old female social worker sustained injuries to her face and three broken teeth when a police officer allegedly kicked her as she lay on the ground during a police operation in Pretoria at the weekend.
Mpilo Thabede told Sowetan that she had left her flat in Arcadia at about 7pm to meet a friend in Sunnyside.
Police and Department of Home Affairs officials were stopping pedestrians at the intersection of Schoeman and Hamilton streets.
Inspector Duane Lightfoot of the Sunnyside police cluster confirmed the operation but said he was not aware of an assault.
Thabede, who has laid a charge of assault against the police at the same station. said: "We were all instructed to lie face down on the tar at gunpoint."
"My cellphone rang. As I reached for it, a white officer ordered me to put the phone down. He then kicked me in the back of the head, saying I was a foreigner and a drug dealer.
"I hit the ground and bled profusely from the nostrils and mouth. I sustained two broken teeth, the third is loose. I also lost my gold plate," she said.
"A female officer searched me. All she found was my phone and money, but they wouldn't let me go."
She was transported to Sunnyside police station. Police refused her treatment, saying there was no one to escort her to hospital. She was told she had been arrested for loitering.
She was released only on Saturday.