Helen Zille opens assault case after clash with police at EC voting station

01 November 2021 - 17:52
By Iavan Pijoos and Herald Correspondent
DA federal chair Helen Zille speaks to residents at the Fernwood Park Primary School.
Image: Fredlin Adriaan DA federal chair Helen Zille speaks to residents at the Fernwood Park Primary School.

Police watchdog Ipid is investigating a case of assault against an Eastern Cape police officer, who is accused of dragging DA federal council chair Helen Zille out of the Fernwood Park Primary School voting station in Bethelsdorp on Monday.

Police spokesperson Col Priscilla Naidu told SowetanLIVE's sister publication HeraldLIVE that Zille had opened a case of assault against the police.

“According to Zille, due to the long queue, she walked down the line asking people to wait. She further stated that when she got to the front of the queue, the ANC observers accused her of canvassing.

“She then alleged that an officer instructed her to leave the premises and threatened to arrest her and put her in the back of a police vehicle,” said Naidu.

Zille was “frogmarched” out of the station, and has accused the officer of twisting her arm and pushing her.

“The cellphone that her colleague was using to film the incident was allegedly taken by the officer,” said Naidu.

Zille opened a case of assault at the Bethelsdorp police station.

Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) spokesperson Grace Langa confirmed that their Eastern Cape office received a complaint of assault against Zille.

Langa said officers allegedly mishandled Zille.

“The case was brought to our attention [and] allocated an investigator who is trying to get hold of Mrs Helen Zille. Unfortunately, the investigator did not succeed,” Langa said, adding that they hoped they would be able to do so by the end of the day.

“It is also reported that one individual in this incident was taking a video and police took the video away from this person, and it was later returned. This person has also opened a case of theft against those police officers,” said Langa.

TimesLIVE was attempting to contact Zille on Monday afternoon. This story will be updated.