Three Cape Town SAPS officers appear in court for torture of barber

The officers were arrested on Monday, five months after Juma Igiranieza was brutally assaulted at his workplace

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Three South African Police Service members appeared in the Wynberg Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday on charges of torture. Photo: Mary-Anne Gontsana

Three South African Police Service (SAPS) members appeared in the Wynberg Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday on charges of torture.

Colonel Delmore Manuel, Constable Jermaine Conradie and Constable Leigh-Ann Maroon were arrested by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate on Monday afternoon in Mowbray.

This comes more than five months after Juma Igiranieza, a barber, was assaulted at his workplace, Perfect Touch Boutique and Salon, in Mowbray on 7 November.

GroundUp published CCTV footage on 10 November showing several officers, one in plain clothes, assaulting Igiranieza. In the footage, at least two officers participate directly in the assault, while other police officers appear unconcerned. Igiranieza is pummelled, struck repeatedly with a wooden device, and smothered with plastic.

Magistrate Goolam Bawa said he was seldom shocked at the types of charges brought to his courtroom, but he was shocked by these charges against officers of the law.

They are charged with unlawfully and intentionally committing torture by “assaulting the complainant Igiranieza with fists, a baton, pepper spray and a plastic bag in order to obtain information from him.” according to the charge sheet. “It is alleged that the accused all acted within the scope of common purpose.”

The accused did not plead and were released on unopposed bail of R2,000 each. The bail conditions state that they refrain from contacting or communicating with Igiranieza and refrain from going to Station Road in Mowbray where the incident took place.

The case was postponed to 7 June for further investigation.

Asked what the possible consequences could be for the officers in terms of continuing as police officers, Western Cape SAPS spokesperson Frederick Van Wyk said, “It is our policy to conduct a departmental investigation following any misconduct or criminal investigation against a member of SAPS. However, this is an internal process between the employer and the employee and dealt with as such. Due process regarding disciplinary actions is under way.”

TOPICS:  Police brutality

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