Mothiba orders an investigation into Edenvale Police Station
This follows serious claims of assault against an officer at that station who was exposed on 'Carte Blanche'.
JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng Police Commissioner Lesetja Mothiba has given strict instructions for the entire Edenvale Police Station's management to be investigated and for one specific officer to be served with a notice of suspension.
This follows serious claims of assault against an officer stationed at the Edenvale Police Station and which was exposed on Carte Blanche last night.
The investigative programme spoke to three men who claimed to have been intimidated and assaulted by a constable who allegedly beat them while they were in custody.
They claim they were falsely accused of drunk driving.
The police top management have been locked in meetings all day and say they take these claims extremely seriously.
The police's Mashadi Selepe says it's unacceptable that citizens must fear the very police officers who are supposed to protect them.
"It is indeed a concern to us. We can't have this situation, other than people coming to the police station to open case, a police station is meant to be a central place to assist people."
Carte Blanche spoke to Darren Kingsley who claims he was arrested for drunk driving in December 2013 by the constable under investigation.
But Kingsley says he doesn't drink for religious reasons.
"We asked him why he was arresting us but he proceeded to check us out, pull and push us around and hitting us on the chests."
Police say they view these claims in a serious light and will ensure appropriate punishment is meted out.
Meanwhile, the Edenvale Community Policing Forum (CPF) has welcomed the action taken against a constable at the station following several claims that he's assaulted and intimidated people in custody.
The officer identified as 'the man with the golden tooth' has been served with a suspension notice.
The top management of the station will also be investigated for not reporting the matter despite several other similar cases opened against him.
The CPF's Linda McKenzie said, "We have to make sure that the bad apples are removed from the bunch. We can't allow that one bad person to bring their name down; we've got people who've been there for many years and they are on call every time you need them."
CPF bosses earlier said they would disregard the Gauteng police commissioner's instructions preventing oversight because he didn't have the legal authority to issue such an order.
Mothiba issued a directive that CPFs would not be permitted to conduct any oversight at police stations until he has sought clarity from the national police commissioner.
The Gauteng Community Safety Office has however said it would ensure that CPFs were allowed to continue enjoying unfettered access to police stations.
Gauteng Community Police Board Chairman Andy Mashaile said the provincial commissioner wasn't legally empowered to suspend civilian oversight of the police.
"We decided to ignore that correspondence because we knew it was unlawful and illegal. We are not going to accept illegal and unlawful directives."
The Community Safety Department's Thapelo Moiloa said the MEC would ensure CPFs were able to continue with their oversight duties.
"The provincial commissioner has no such power towards the suspension of the oversight functions of the CPF."