South Africa: Man Alleges Police Beat Him With a Sjambok

18 November 2019

Abongile Mayekiso says he was severely assaulted by police who accused him of stealing a cellphone.

"They almost killed me for something I did not do ... I explained to them that they are making a mistake, but they kept on beating me," said Mayekiso, 26, from Better Life in Philippi East.

He wants the police to be held accountable. But a month later, police have not handed over the docket to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) for investigation.

According to Mayiseko the incident occurred when he went to a private home to buy a beer. As he was leaving the home, he was confronted by police who told him to go back inside. A cellphone had been stolen and its owner, together with the police, had traced it to that residence. The robbed man said Mayiseko was the culprit.

"They used a sjambok to beat me ... Some were kicking me, saying I must take out the cellphone," he says.

Police searched the place and found the phone. The homeowner told them he had bought it from a private individual. "They arrested him and left me there in pain," says Mayekiso.

He opened a case at the Philippi East police station.

Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana said an internal disciplinary process was opened for investigation and it is yet to be finalised.

IPID acting spokesperson Sontaga Seisa said they are waiting for the police to hand over the docket.

The incident has left him in pain, says Mayekiso, and he is struggling to sleep and walk.

"I don't know what got into them the way they were beating me ... I think by now they should have been arrested for what they did," he says.

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