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Qholani case receiving high level attention, says Cele

The police minister Bheki Cele was in the Empolweni informal settlement on Saturday, just days after Bulelani Qholani was evicted from his home while naked.

Police Minister Bheki Cele in Khayelitsha on Saturday 4 July 2020 where he met with Bulelani Qholani, who was dragged out of his home without clothes during an eviction by CoCT officials. Picture: Lirandzu Temba/Twitter

CAPE TOWN –Police Minister Bheki Cele has called on Khayelitsha residents to come forward if they had been on the receiving end of undue violence at the hands of Cape Town law enforcement officials.

Cele was in the Empolweni informal settlement on Saturday afternoon, days after a man was evicted from his home while naked – sparking widespread outrage.

In a video widely shared online, Bulelani Qholani could be seen being assaulted by City of Cape Town law enforcement official after being dragged from his home with no clothes on.

The City of Cape Town has been widely condemned for the conduct of four law officers who have now been suspended.

Speaking to residents who were visibly upset, Cele is calling for them to allow the law to take its course.

“We have put this case at the very high level, at the office of the national commissioner and the office of the provincial commissioner where it is being monitored. I have a right to monitor and ask for reports all the time.”

Qholani has laid a criminal complaint against law enforcement officers.
He is being represented by the Legal Resources Center's Lelethu Mgedezi.

"The charges that we're looking at are charges that relate to malicious damage to property, the violation of the Disaster Management Act, crimen injuria and there's also the aspect of torture that has also been put forward as a charge."

The four officers involved have been suspended and will face disciplinary action.

Meanwhile, Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato on Thursday said Qholani deliberately undressed to block the eviction.

Plato said he'd seen pictures showing Qholani was initially outside his dwelling and later took off his clothes.

The City of Cape Town has been widely condemned for the conduct of four law enforcement officers who assaulted the 28-year-old man in full view of his neighbours.

“All the world has seen me over the phone, social media. When they see me, they're like 'oh, you are that guy'. I'm feeling bad”, said Qholani.

Not only does he feel humiliated, but he's also concerned about the effect the experience will have on his young children and partner.

“The child is feeling bad, very bad, and my girlfriend is feeling bad because I need my dignity back.”

Additional reporting by Jarita Kassen

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