June 12, 2009
ABUSIVE BEHAVIOUR OF SAPS AND METRO OFFICES AT DURBAN AMPHIMARKET
Craig Perumal of Verulam writes:
ON Sunday 07.06.2009, I WITNESSED behaviour of both Metro officers and SAPS officers at the Amphimarket on the Durban Beachfront that was totally uncalled for.
The amphimarket is in excess of 20 years with most traders being there for the same period. One arrogant officer started what we can called abuse. He had a problem with a vendor whom pays rent for his allocated space to the fleamarket and has been trading on the same spot for many years. The officer in question wanted the guy to move from his allocated space.
The vendor rightfully refused and requested the officer to contact the flea market organisers.
Eventually the officer refused and decided to confiscate the vendors products.
The problem is the manner in which it was done.naturally the vendor was upset and was refusing . A few other officers the arrived a bagged the produce.
I must state at this stage the officers had no name tags on.
A media reporter as in the attached photo then took a photo of the said officer and the police action. The officer grabbed the camera and from the woman saying she cannot take photos and he was taking the camera. The lady refused and told him to contact the mayors office if he wanted to identify her as that is where she had worked as she was allowed to take pictures.
The lady was eventually arrested and handcuffed.The officer then summoned his colleagues of which 12 metro police cars responded, 3 motorcycles and a saps car. At This stage the vendors wife intervened as did the flea market management. The said officer then insisted on arresting the vendor as well for no reason and that is when the vendor's sons and wife protested.
Two saps officers then also arrived. The SAPs officer grabbed the vendor in a throttle and punched him. The metro officers then hit the wife and one son was also hit and went into an epileptic fit whilst in a fit he was handcuffed and thrown into a vehicle. A foreigner who was standing close by captured this on his cellphone camera.The metro officers then tried to grab him and tripped and kicked him and then arrested him.
Another policeman on a motorcycle the arrived and was calling on somebody to fight with with whom he had some problem .
This incident was viewed many many people. The cleaners from eThekwini as well a Hungarian visitors could only say Disgusting.
These officers need to be disciplined .The saps officers used excessive force/violence knowing very well that metro police would be to blame. One metro officer that used , also mention he was off duty but arrived there in a municipal vehicle as he said the other officer was his friend.
I would also like to state that the cities cctv cameras was focused on these happenings as I saw the camera being operated.
(I removed the names of the officers as well as the regstration numbers Craig provided - for his own safety, but I will forward his letter to the City Manager, in case the newspapers haven't done so) karen