Mayor set to throw book at laughing lawmen who pelted ‘thieves’ with apples
Dave Chambers | 2017-05-27 13:13:25.0
Christelle Vosloo‚ mayor of Theewaterskloof Municipality.
Image by: Facebook/Christelle Vosloo
The lawmen who pelted alleged thieves with apples in the Western Cape are in deep trouble with their mayor.
“I regard this conduct … as inhumane and a gross violation of the safety and dignity of the victims‚” said Christelle Vosloo‚ the Democratic Alliance mayor of Theewaterskloof Municipality.
Vosloo was reacting on Saturday to a video posted by TimesLive‚ which showed four municipality law enforcement officers lining the four thieves up against a roadside rockface and pelting them with the apples they were alleged to have stolen.
In a statement to TimesLive‚ Vosloo said: “I am devastated that the victims had to endure this trauma and I believe their constitutional rights not to be exposed to psychological‚ emotional and physical abuse had been violated. “I will ensure an immediate investigation into the incident. If any personnel of the municipality are found guilty in regards to the incident they will face the strongest disciplinary actions possible.
“I call on the community to give me and the municipality an opportunity to investigate the incident and to deal with it appropriately. I will keep them informed on an ongoing basis.
“I will meet with the victims and ensure that they receive all the support available to deal with the trauma they suffered.”
Kevi van Wyk‚ who posted the video to his Facebook page Boland Dorpe‚ told TimesLive the incident happened earlier this week.
“The officers caught the men stealing apples in Villiersdorp‚” he said. “They took them out into the mountains then made them line up before throwing the apples at them.”
Van Wyk said the woman who had sent him the video had another‚ which allegedly showed the officers stripping one of the men naked and beating him up.
“I have the names of three of the men‚” he said. “They’re all based in Villiersdorp.”
Van Wyk said he was “really upset” by the footage. “It’s wrong to steal apples but I don’t think this is the way to deal with it‚” he said.
Scores of people commented on the post‚ many of them condemning the officers’ actions.
“These ‘law enforcement officers’ are a disgrace to the uniform they wearing‚” said Michelle Ward.
“I hope they get lined up and have the law books thrown at them. These are human beings irrespective of how they got the apples.”
Suhayl Ahmed said: “Obviously one of their own colleagues whipped out their phone to video the entire thing. Now they going to be sued for defamation of character and assault and hopefully get their asses kicked out of the force.”
But Sindy van der Wal said she had heard the men had been throwing apples at passing motorists‚ so the law officers “taught them a lesson”.
She added: “These guys won’t die from being thrown with apples‚ nobody is that soft. If (they) were just walking‚ doing nothing wrong then‚ that’s another story altogether. Reserve judgment till all facts are presented.”