Ipid to investigate complaint against alleged ‘drunk’ police

2019-06-15 17:21

I want action to be taken.

These were the words of Khutjo Sekwaila, a 31-year-old man whose trip to graduation at the University of Zululand was interrupted by an alleged assault, which took place on May 16, at the Richards Bay Police Station.

Last week, City press reported that the Sekwailas had taken the matter to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) and were considering suing Police Minister Bheki Cele.

In the latest development, Ipid spokesperson Moses Dlamini said that Ipid had received the complaint late last Friday and that the allegations will be investigated.

“The process will depend on the allegations and will include obtaining statements from witnesses and medical evidence.”

“It is the duty of police management to maintain discipline within the SAPS. Ipid investigates when complaints are lodged or when it becomes aware of them,” Dlamini said.

Chris Gasarasi, the lawyer representing the Sekwailas, said that they were considering filing a civil claim against Cele should the results prove that the Sekwaila’s claims that he was not intoxicated on the night of the incident.

He added that they were waiting for the blood test results to be released before such a step is taken.

Sekwaila was travelling with his 5-month pregnant wife, Nomsa Sekwaila (29), when an unmarked vehicle ordered them to stop at around 10:35pm in the middle of a forest plantation.

“They showed a gun and that made me more scared. It gave me the impression that this was a hijacking,” he said.

In a statement, Sekwaila claims that three of the four police officers involved in the incident smelt of alcohol at the time.

Sekwaila faces charges of driving under the influence, reckless and negligent driving and defeating the course of justice.

Sekwaila’s wife, who took video footage of the events that transpired inside the police station, faces one count of obstructing the course of justice.

City Press was not able to get comment from the police at the time of this article being published.

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January 12 2020