The Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) has sent a special task team to help speed up investigations into general police brutality and service delivery protests in Mpumalanga. ICD national spokesman Moses Dlamini said a number of police have been implicated in various torture or assault cases, but that investigations were delayed by the service delivery protests.
“The ICD sent the team of investigators to strengthen its Mpumalanga office. This is due to the number of high profile and service delivery related cases that the province has to deal with and the effect this has on the finalisation of other cases,” said Dlamini. He said the task team would also help investigate the service delivery protests that took place around Balfour and Ermelo between 2009 and 2011, the state BuaNews agency says. “These cases have been assigned to the… team to prioritise in order to conclude the investigations as soon as possible,” he said.
Dlamini said in some cases, the state could not prosecute police because of the way in which evidence was collected. In one incident, the state could not prosecute a case involving a complaint from Mozambican trader Albertina Mabaso, whose thumb had to be amputated after a policeman was accused of partially severing it during an interrogation at the Lebombo border post in February.
“The (state) declined to prosecute based on the evidence in the docket, which was insufficient to warrant prosecution,” said Dlamini. He said the ICD, which was only alerted to the case via the media, then re-investigated the matter. “The docket has been resent to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for a decision on whether to prosecute or not with the new evidence and statements,” he said.
In another incident in Vosman in February 2009, Constable Margaret Mashiane, 29, was accused of shooting the father of her child, Tuis Rampedi, in the chest and injuring him after she found him sitting in a car with another woman. Rampedi later died in hospital. “The ICD took over the investigation and made recommendations to the DPP for prosecution. The case was set down for trial between July 25 and 29 this year. Mashiane was found guilty on two counts of intimidation, reckless and negligent driving, attempted murder and murder,” he said.
Dlamini said the Middelburg High Court postponed the case to September 28 for sentencing.