KwaZulu-Natal cops filmed ‘taking’ screaming child then father for going to the beach
A video of a father trying to prevent two KwaZulu-Natal Traffic Officers from removing his screaming child from a gated complex after he allegedly contravened a lockdown rule has drawn outrage on social media platforms. The video, which surfaced on social media on Monday, shows two KwaDukuza traffic officers walking into the complex, in Salt Rock on the north coast.
One of them takes the crying child – dressed in a swimming costume – by his hand and walks off. He is later joined by his colleague. The child’s father, also clad in swimming gear, runs after the official and grabs the distraught child, shouting: “Get your hands of this child – somebody call the police!”
The man who is holding on to the screaming child exclaims: “No way – this is ridiculous!”
The child is released and can be heard screaming hysterically “No daddy!” as the man is led away by the two officers. The man placates the child, saying “It’s OK.”
The person who captured the incident can be heard saying: “We need the official police. They have been doing [this] for the last hour … harassing everyone. And they have been doing this because we were on the road, we were on the beachfront.”KwaDukuza municipal spokesperson Sipho Mkhize told ZiMetro News that the incident was being investigated by the municipality.
“There is a narrative that’s on social media. For us, we have to sit down with the concerned officers. They will have to produce statements under oath about what happened there,” he said. “We will take it from there with how we then relay our stance as an institution. We can say that these are our officers. However, we will give a full communication once we have collected all sides to the story.”
Mkhize said preliminary information gathered indicated that “the parents were at the beach with the children”.”Beaches are closed. As you can see by the child’s attire, they were there. They were in the wrong and went home,” he said.
“I don’t want to begin to condone how the matter was handled, given the high emotion around why the child was being held. The parents were wrong in this instance, but how the operation was conducted, given the public expression, is something we have to deal with internally with those affected.
“We are still looking for information, which includes locating a full-length video of the incident. All of those need to come together so we can see what happened.”We don’t want to seem as if we are policing human beings. We just want everybody to stay at home and adhere to regulations.”
Salt Rock neighbourhood watch chair Nathalie Shrewe said they were “horrified” by the video.”We haven’t been to verify the facts of this video, but we are outraged that the child seems to have been traumatised by the arrest,” she said.
“There has been considerable finger-pointing about who did what and who was right or wrong but we are waiting to hear exactly what transpired.”DA councilor Privi Makhan said: “The video is deeply disturbing. I have tried to get in touch with the head of community safety at KwaDukuza municipality and will provide feedback to the various community platforms as soon as we have a statement from them.
“Let us give law enforcement an opportunity to provide a detailed account of what happened.”Facebook users condemned the incident, calling it “barbaric behaviour” and a “clear abuse of power”.”If people are at the beach, then they must be arrested at the beach – not when they are at home. They have no business coming into the property and taking the child,” said one.
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