Boksburg police officers’ assault case postponed; accused to return to court on April 28
On January 9, four Boksburg North police officers assaulted and tortured a Nigerian man into a coma. The officers – Constables Sakhile Mathaba, Mlondolozi Khalipha, Nkateko Hlogwane and Sergeant Sibusiso Shabangu – were charged with attempted murder, kidnapping, and defeating the ends of justice. They were granted bail of R5 000 each on February 10 as reported by the Boksburg Advertiser.
The case was postponed to April 28 after the officers appeared in Boksburg Magistrate’s Court on March 29. Initially charged with assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm and defeating the ends of justice, they now face more severe charges.
According to Lizzy Suping, the IPID spokesperson, the victim and his friends were approached by police officers demanding their identity documents. When the victim could not produce an original copy of the documentation, he was taken to the police station and assaulted and tortured by the officers. As a result, he was in a coma for nine days.
On March 3, community members and activists protested at the Boksburg North Police Station and marched to the Boksburg Magistrate’s Court. One of the protesters, Pompi Thobakgale, claimed that Sergeant Shabangu had been helping the community deal with drugs and had arrested most of the Nigerians dealing with drugs.
Despite the allegations, Colonel Mavela Masondo confirmed that the officers were back at work.
Photo by EKATERINA BOLOVTSOVA