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Police defend themselves in Machadordop

Allegations that members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) arrived at the scene during the racial assault incident in Machadodorp and did nothing were quickly dismissed by the office of the Provincial Commissioner in Mpumalanga as untrue.

The police said they have initiated an internal investigation.

“At this moment the police management are aware of allegations that police fear to intervene should a certain race be on the wrong side of the law but will act swiftly when the perpetrator is of another race, such narratives are baseless and false,” the police said in a statement.

The police reaction comes after several complaints from Machado residents who witnessed the incident in which Godfrey Masuku was pepper sprayed and assaulted before being dragged whilst trying to resist the assault and being restrained to the back of a bakkie on Monday.

Nompumelelo Ndlovu, who witnessed and recorded the attack on Godfrey by the two white males, Bruce Botha and Wayne Swart, told the Highveld Chronicle that police arrived at the scene and “did nothing” to stop Godfrey’s assailants. “Police were called but they just stood there and watched as the CPF members continued the attack. They even threatened other community members who tried to intervene,” she said.

Another member of the community, who was at the scene during the attack, echoed exactly the same statement as Ndlovu’s. “The useless police just watched him being beaten. They are scared of whites,” he said.

A video material in possession of the paper shows uniformed members of SAPS arriving at the scene and doing nothing to neutralise the situation. The same video shows members of the community intervene to aid Godfrey by forging a counter attack that disarms and derails the attack on Godfrey by the two white males.

However, the police said their members “carry out their duties without any fear, favour or prejudice without looking at the colour, race or creed of the parties involved”.

“The complaint that police took the suspects to court without inviting the complainant, is because this was a first appearance, the complainant will be given feedback regarding the investigation and be summoned to court in due course.

Police are currently investigating following charges: two of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, arson, public violence and malicious damage to property. The situation around Machadodorp is being closely monitored.”