The Barends family who lives on Amandel Road is still coming to terms with what transpired on Friday, April 16, after SAPS officials allegedly opened fire on their two-year-old pit bull, Skylar, who later died. It is alleged that police were looking to gain entry onto the property without a search warrant.
Police then allegedly pepper-sprayed the dog who was visibly disturbed by their presence. An angered owner, Shaneley Barends, told Cape Town Etc they did not resist the police’s request to search their property, but were denied the option to put their dog on a leash.
“When they came they didn’t allow us to calm her, they just came in, about 20 police officers,” Barends said. One officer indicated that he is going to shoot the dog, Barends added. “She shot her right in front of us, they didn’t have a search warrant. They didn’t find anything at our house,” Barends continued. She explained that now that the incident occurred, she has no faith in the police. “I have this hatred towards them now for the way they treat us as humans.”
Meanwhile, Bonteheuwel ward councillor, Angus McKenzie said, it is this sort of behaviour that can collapse all the hard work that they have achieved in Bonteheuwel in reducing gang-related crime. “I want to categorically state that building strong relationships with the community is what overcomes crime not a heavy-handed approach, it is these very people that are requested to provide tip-offs and information to stop illegal activities that are treated in this manner,” McKenzie said.
McKenzie added that he will be addressing this issue directly with the Department of Community Safety and will be assisting the family to lay a formal complaint with IPID, but also call upon the local Community Policing Forum(CPF) to do what it is mandated to do and hold SAPS accountable.