State completes investigation into three SAPS officers charged with torturing Cape Town barber

No response from SAPS on whether the three are still employed or on duty

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Three South African Police Service members appeared in the Wynberg Magistrates’ Court on Friday on charges related to the torture of a Cape Town barber in November last year. Archive photo: Mary-Anne Gontsana

The investigation into charges of torture against three police officers has been completed, the Wynberg Magistrates’ Court heard on Friday.

Colonel Delmore Manuel, Constable Jermaine Conradie, and Constable Leigh-Ann Maroon made a brief appearance in the dock before their case was postponed. The matter is expected to be moved to the regional court in July.

Manuel, Conradie and Maroon were arrested by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) on 22 April in Mowbray, Cape Town.

This came more than five months after Juma Igiranieza, a barber, was assaulted at his workplace, Perfect Touch Boutique and Salon, in Mowbray on 7 November.

GroundUp published CCTV footage on 10 November showing several officers, one in plain clothing, assaulting Igiranieza. In the footage, at least two officers participated directly in the assault, while other police officers appeared unconcerned. Igiranieza was pummelled, struck repeatedly with a wooden device, and smothered with plastic.

The accused face charges of unlawfully and intentionally committing torture by “assaulting the complainant Igiranieza with fists, a baton, pepper spray and a plastic bag in order to obtain information from him,” according to the court’s charge sheet.

They are currently out on bail of R2,000 each. The bail conditions state that none of the accused can contact or communicate with Igiranieza, and that they refrain from going to Station Road in Mowbray where the incident took place.

After their court appearance on Friday, the three officers could be seen chatting outside at the court’s steps before leaving.

When asked in April whether the three accused were still employed by SAPS, Western Cape police spokesperson Frederick Van Wyk only said an investigation would be done but that it was “an internal process between the employer and the employee and dealt with as such. Due process regarding disciplinary actions are under way”.

SAPS did not respond to GroundUp’s request for an update regarding the accused’s employment status by the time of publication.

The case will return to court on 15 July.

TOPICS:  Court

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