Anger in South Africa as vice president’s security staff assault unarmed civilians

Anger in South Africa as vice president’s security staff assault unarmed civilians

South Africa’s vice president, Paul Mashatile, has denounced the acts of his police protection staff after video emerged showing them beating some unidentified people on a motorway in Johannesburg.

The viral video shows armed officers pulling out one man from his car and then pounding on his head until he appears unconscious.

The video sparked controversy and brought attention to the issue of police brutality in South Africa.

The deputy president said he “abhorred” any unwarranted use of force against unarmed individuals and promised a “thorough investigation.”

There is no evidence that Mr Mashatile was present at the time.

The police protection unit, known as the “blue light brigade” in South Africa, has a reputation for employing excessive force.

Officers from the unit are frequently criticised for speeding down highways and retaliating violently if other drivers do not instantly detect the small blue lights and sirens in their vehicles and get out of the way.

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID), which investigates police wrongdoing, said it had launched an investigation into the alleged assault on the car’s driver and occupants by police personnel.

Meanwhile, the South African police chief said the force has “successfully traced the victims of this incident,” and they were being interviewed.

South Africa has been struggling with police brutality. One of the most brutal incidents took place in 2012 where police killed 34 miners. Officers opened fire on them with assault rifles after a long strike over wages and working conditions.

News agencies

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