- A police officer is accused of hitting a woman on the head with the butt of his gun because she was not wearing a face mask
- The woman claims her hands were full of groceries and she therefore could not pull up her mask
- The incident, which left the woman with severe injuries, was witnessed by her eight-year-old child
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DURBAN - A KwaZulu-Natal woman was allegedly assaulted by a police officer for not wearing a face mask. The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) has launched a probe to investigate the incident.
Nonhlanhla Khoza, Kwa-Zulu Natal's MEC for Social Development, said that the woman failed to adhere to Covid-19 protocols and was "brutally assaulted" by a police officer as a result.
The woman, whose identity remains unknown, was approached by a police officer at KwaMaphumulo Shopping Complex who noticed her walking without a mask. She was carrying groceries at the time, News24 reports.
Due to her hands being full, the woman was unable to lift her mask over her face. This detail angered the police officer who retaliated by assaulting her. She was injured and now has perforated eardrums and acute head injuries.
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Briefly News reached out to the KwaZulu-Natal police's Media Centre but they declined to comment on the incident.
Grace Langa, a spokesperson for the IPID, said that the incident was witnessed by the woman's child, who is eight years old. The police officer allegedly used the butt of his gun to hit the woman on her head.
The woman was held in a cell and was not allowed to see a doctor, which aggravated her injuries further. However, the police officer claims that the woman attacked him. Briefly News reached out to the IPID for comment but did not receive a response by the time of publishing.
Reactions to police assault claims
"She was abused in front of her child."
"The problem with IPID is that after they conclude the case they send it back to guess who? Yes, to SAPS to make the arrest, does it happen, NO."
"The South African Police are truly unlawful terrorists."
"Yoh I heard about that story, SAPS should just be disbanded, and start something new, which will treat citizens with respect and protect not this."
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In exclusive audio recorded by a family friend, the police officer can be heard trying to get money from the victim's family in exchange for the man's safe return.
Source: Briefly News