- More law enforcement officers could be suspended after the removal of a naked man from his Khayelitsha home.
- The City’s safety and security director Richard Bosman said he expects a preliminary report on Monday.
- Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz condemned the conduct of the law enforcement officers.
The City of Cape Town’s law enforcement head Richard Bosman said more law enforcement officers could face suspension for their involvement in the manhandling of a naked man during a shack demolition operation in Khayelitsha.
Bosman, the City’s safety and security director, was speaking during a live interview with eNCA after the suspension of four officers, who were caught on camera forcibly removing a naked Bulelani Qolani from his home.
The video went viral on Wednesday after Qolani, who was in the process of bathing, was seen being dragged from his shack and wrestled to the ground by officers.
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Qolani escaped from the officers and dashed back to his shack, which was then torn down.
“The matter will be investigated. We will ask questions and we will also look at the video footage. Interviews will also be held with the complainant and the officers involved in order to decide how we will go forward. It is possible that more people might be suspended as the investigation continues. Initially we looked at those who were directly involved in the incident.”
Bosman said he is expecting a preliminary report by Monday.
“Our staff should not have acted in this way. They are aware that we can’t have any evictions since the start of the national lockdown,” he said, adding that the City was not evicting anyone.
The City also defended their actions, saying they are doing all they can to prevent illegal land invasions.
Bulelani Qolani, who was dragged from his shack on Wednesday, naked, by City of Cape Town law enforcement officers. The officers have been suspended.
READ | Manner in which naked man removed ‘shameful’, but City has duty to stop land occupation – mayor
Cape Town mayor Dan Plato earlier on Thursday admitted the conduct in which Qolani was removed was “shameful”.
He, however, also said the City had a duty to prevent “illegal land invasions”.
Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz condemned the conduct of law enforcement officers.
He said their actions infringed on the human dignity of a resident in the province.
“This conduct has no place in the Western Cape and South Africa,” Fritz said.
Fritz said there have been numerous operations by the City on previous occasions to prevent the illegal occupation of the land.
“I am glad that the City of Cape Town is treating these allegations with the seriousness it deserves. While many of our police and law enforcement officials work under immense pressure, the infringement of human dignity in this way can’t be tolerated.
“It is, therefore, necessary to respond to such cases proportionately. I look forward to the swift outcome of the investigation,” Fritz said.
– Compiled by Jason Felix