A video showing two police officers brutalising two men in Worcester has gone viral on social media and prompted an internal investigation by the South African Police Sevice (SAPS).
In the video, two police officers can be seen and they appear to be searching two men before one of the officers slaps one of the men in the face, while the other officer lashes at the other individual with a sjambok (a heavy leather or plastic whip).
One of the officers can be heard shouting “Waar is jou masker?” [Where is your mask?], in Afrikaans, at one of the individuals.
[WATCH] Worcester police caught on camera sjamboking a man and another searching and slapping the second man. The incident happened on Monday, the van belongs to Ceres police station but is used by the Worcester unit and the police have been positively identified pic.twitter.com/OP5JDkHO4F
— Veve (@LudidiVelani) January 20, 2021
The incident took place near an industrial area in Worcester on Monday, January 18, according to a SAPS statement.
The officers involved in the incident have been identified as SAPS employees attached to a unit in Worcester. Contrary to speculation on social media, the officers are not from Ceres. Although the police vehicle seen in the video belongs to the Ceres police station, it is currently at the disposal of the Worcester unit.
The individuals accosted in the video are yet to be identified and interviewed, according to SAPS.
Worcester Cluster Commander, Major General Nomthetheleli Mene leads the investigation and hopes to uncover what had happened prior to the recording commencing.
SAPS asserts that the “beating up and manhandling of individuals and/or suspects” is against departmental directives and the use of a sjambok by police officials “is not only forbidden but unlawful.”
“Speculation about what actually happened, including the disclosure of names of the police officials involved, would, at this stage of the investigation be detrimental to the probe that is underway,” said spokesperson Brigadier Novelwa Potelwa.
Picture: Screenshot from video