Video of police brutality in South Africa sparks furore

Cape Town, March 7: A video featuring South Africa Police Service (SAPS) personnel severely assaulting a naked man on a Cape Town street went viral on the internet Friday sparking furore.

The assault took place outside a bar in Cape Town’s central business district Thursday, media reported.

The video was filmed by an office worker in a nearby building showing two policemen beating up a man who was naked, next to a car.

Along with the two policemen, two officers from Central City Improvement District (CCID) and a private security guard were also present at the scene, according to IOL online.

One policeman and an officer from CCID pulled the man away from the car and on to the street. The CCID officers are seen pulling down the man’s undergarment and the two other policeman holding him even as he tries to free himself.

The second officer starts off by punching the man three times on his groin area which was followed by more merciless hitting by the police officers. The assault lasted for almost half an hour. The man was bleeding from a gash behind his head.

The identity of the man has not yet been established as he was found lying naked by the pavement.

Other CCID personnel arrived at the scene and informed the police about the man.

“Police are currently in the process of viewing the footage to get hold the guilty,” Western Cape police commissioner Arno Lamoer said.

“A decisive action will be taken against this act of brutality as soon as the investigation is over.”

He added that immediate suspension of the officers and the policemen and other necessary action would be taken against them as soon as they were caught.

The police is still refusing to let out any information related to the identity of the victim.

South African opposition party Democratic Alliance (DA) has reacted strongly to the assault.

“The video shows police officers tearing off the clothes of an unarmed man, leaving him naked and vulnerable in public. What was even more disturbing is that police aggressively manhandled, pushed, choked, punched and kicked him repeatedly,” Xinhua quoted Dianne Kohler Barnard, DA shadow minister of police, as saying.

“The DA is further horrified by the video released on social media sites revealing SAPS brutally beating a man up and stripping him of his dignity,”

The growing trend of police brutality under President Jacob Zuma’s African National Congress (ANC) continues, Barnard said.

This assault was unwarranted, unacceptable and must be condemned, said Barnard.

IANS