'What in the apartheid is this?': SA outraged at viral video of cops beating two men with a sjambok

Police are investigating after an alleged assault on two men by three officers was caught on video. Stock image
Police are investigating after an alleged assault on two men by three officers was caught on video. Stock image
Image: Gareth Wilson

A video showing Western Cape police officers using a sjambok to beat up two unidentified men has sparked outrage on social media.

In the video, an officer can be seen searching one of the men, before shouting and pointing at him.

The other man appears to receive a few slaps from another officer. A third other officer is also seen dragging the second guy and starts beating him with a sjambok.

Police spokesperson Brig Novela Potelwa said an investigation into the incident has been launched and the police officials captured in the video have been identified as employees attached to a unit in Worcester.

Potelwa said the two men are yet to be identified and would be interviewed as part of the investigation.

“Further investigation into the matter is expected to also shed light on what had happened prior to the recording commencing,” she said.

“SAPS in the Western Cape wishes to place on record that the beating up and manhandling of individuals and/or suspects is against departmental directives and prescripts that govern the handling of persons by police officials. In addition, the use of a sjambok by police officials is not only forbidden but unlawful.

“A plea is hereby made for space to be given for the sanctioned investigation to unfold and be finalised soon. Speculation about what actually happened, including the disclosure of names of the police officials involved, would at this stage of the investigation be detrimental to the probe that is under way.”

On social media, many weighed in on the video, saying the police conduct was brutal and should be condemned.

User @VaVaVoomCPT said, “The investigation will not reach a verdict, we need a separate investigative unit to handle these cases on a national level.”

“What in the apartheid is this,” asked user @explicit_lut.

“What have we done as black people in this country to be treated like this? It’s heartbreaking to see the people who should protect us as citizens doing this to us,” user @nash_gift wrote.

User @ngcamani_ said, “This is the kind of thing in our constitutional dispensation that should not be allowed to go without consequence. Where is the Western Cape commissioner?”

“Is this sjambok even part of the SA Police Service issued equipment?” user @Buntumzileni2 asked.

“This is police brutality. Bheki Cele needs to tame his boys now, they are out of control,” said user @ntobengnkadimen.

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