March 29 2010 at 05:01PM
The police have opened a docket of attempted murder against a group of Ekurhuleni metro police officers who allegedly shot at a motorist when he skipped a stop sign then refused to stop on Human Rights Day, lobby group Justice Project South Africa said on Monday.
Police were not immediately able to confirm the statement, but the Justice Project said the incident was being investigated.
It alleged that the motorist, who apparently skipped the stop sign in Olifantsfontein, was shot at and that a witness who took pictures of the incident was arrested for interfering with a police investigation.
It also alleges that one of the metro police officials was not wearing a uniform or other identification and refused to provide her name.
The group said it did not condone the disregarding of laws – like having to stop when ordered to do so by police – but questioned the alleged use of violence.
“There is also nothing in South African law which gives metro police the right to open fire without exhausting all other means of stopping a vehicle unless they are fired upon first,” the project’s chairperson Howard Dembovsky said.
“Only a highly-skilled driver would stand any chance of evading the attempts of several police vehicles, some of which were bakkies and driven by officers who have been sufficiently trained to force him to halt.”
The motorist will appear in the Tembisa Magistrate’s Court on April 7 on charges of reckless or negligent driving, intimidation, damage to property and resisting arrest, Dembovsky said.
The charge against the man arrested for taking a photograph of a metro police officer had been referred for decision. – Sapa