'White dogs will be killed'
08/01/2009 08:42 - (SA)
Tom de Wet
Welkom - An elderly farmer was allegedly called a "white dog" by police officers, and told that "all white dogs in South Africa will be killed".
For several weeks now, Volksblad has reported complaints from the community about poor service delivery and alleged brutality by the police in Odendaalsrus.
Apparently they even stood watching while a woman was cruelly assaulted by the father of her child, despite her having a domestic violence interdict against him.
Rudi van Vuuren has visited the new station commissioner, Senior Superintendent MB Mbongo, to discuss what happened to his father, Gert van Vuuren, 68, on his farm on Saturday. Gert was the head of the Odendaalsrus police reservists for many years.
He was advised to file a complaint against the police officers involved.
Called a racist
Rudy said three police officers arrived on the farm Hilton in a police vehicle at about 14:00 on Saturday. They told his father they were there to bring the R100 which a former farm labourer owed him.
One of them asked why Gert would take money from a poor man, whereupon he answered that the man owed him the money.
One of the constables then allegedly called Gert a racist and also cursed his mother.
Gert told them to leave the farm immediately, whereupon they allegedly pulled out their guns and called him a white dog. They then left.
When they returned later on, Rudy's mother telephoned her son.
Upon his arrival on the farm, the policeman once again cursed his parents and his sister.
They tried to leave when he arrived, but he blocked the road with his vehicle and took a pen and paper to get their names.
They apparently refused to identify themselves at first, but after he told them that he used to be a major in the commandos and that he knew his rights and the law, one of the policemen identified himself. The driver of the vehicle, who was doing the cursing, also identified himself.
Rudy said he then tried unsuccessfully to call the police station in town and 10111 in order to file a complaint against the policemen and get them off the farm.
While he was on the phone, one of the policemen allegedly told Rudy he could call Welkom, Bloemfontein and Pretoria; but no one would or could touch him.
After Rudy had moved his vehicle and ordered the policemen to leave the farm, they refused to do so and said they were waiting for reinforcements.
The reinforcements then arrived, in no less than eight police vehicles.
When Rudy questioned this, he was told they had been called out to the farm.
Apparently they were told that a farm worker was being assaulted by the farmers on the farm and that the policemen who had wanted to help the man had been attacked, cursed, threatened at gunpoint and that the dogs had been set loose on them.
Rudy said he would like to know, among other things, why charges of defeating the ends of justice and crimen injuria were now being investigated against him and his father.
He would also like to know what the police had to do with private matters such as the return of R100 and, to top it all, how they could use a police vehicle to do so while they were on duty.
Provincial police spokesperson Superintendent Sam Makhele said people should first take their complaints to the station commissioner, whereupon the matter would be handled through the right channels.
Police management understood the gravity of the allegations, but a complaint should be filed against those police officers who commit offences so that the offences could be investigated, he said.