Uthingo Park security guards under investigation for assault

A video in which a handful of security guards are shown severely beating up a man is doing the rounds on social media.
A video in which a handful of security guards are shown severely beating up a man is doing the rounds on social media.
Image: SUHAIB SALEM

Mpumalanga police are investigating security personnel contracted to guard Uthingo Park in Emalahleni after they were recorded allegedly assaulting a community member. 

In a video which is doing the rounds on social media, a handful of security guards are shown severely beating up the victim, who at one point is held down and pistol whipped. 

“We can confirm that we are investigating alleged acts of brutality by members of a private security company which took place at Uthingo Park, Witbank yesterday (Friday). The alleged brutality, captured on a video clip currently doing the rounds on social media, reportedly took place during a physical engagement between the guards and members of the community. Community members were reportedly protesting about some contentious issues within their community when this happened,” said spokesperson of the police in Mpumalanga, brigadier Leonard Hlathi.

Hlathi said the victim opened an assault with intention to cause grievous body harm (GBH) case. 

The community of Emalahleni went on the rampage on Friday morning, burning tires while airing their grievances about high rental rates. A confrontation ensued between the guards and the community. 

Hlathi however said although they appreciate private security guards’ work in curbing crime, excessive physical force will not be tolerated. 

“While acknowledging and appreciating the role played by the private security industry in the fight against crime, the use of excessive force disproportionate to a threat, amounts to brutality and is punishable by law. Even the police are not allowed to use disproportionate force under any circumstances,” Said Hlathi. 

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