The victims of the sensational blue light attack feared for their lives and following this incident it is time that the necessity of the VIP protection unit as a whole is re-evaluated.
Action Society demands that the entire senior management of the VIP protection unit of the SAPS is also restructured following the blue light assault incident that took place this past weekend on the N1 highway in Gauteng.
On Wednesday, Action Society’s legal team submitted a formal complaint to the Independent Police Investigation Directorate (Opod) against the police officers involved in the incident.
“In the complaint, Action Society demands that charges of attempted murder, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, intimidation and pointing a firearm be investigated,” says Ian Cameron, Action Society’s director of security.
The driver who was dragged from the blue Volkswagen Polo and assaulted by members of the VIP Protection Unit is being assisted by Action Society to bring criminal and possible civil charges against the officers, the commanders involved and even the Minister of Police.
“He was hit over the head with an assault rifle and then repeatedly kicked in the head while he was already unconscious from the first blows. After we talked about his physical injuries, I asked him how he was doing emotionally. He became quiet and after a long silence said: ‘I’m not okay’.”
According to Cameron, the victim in question had to receive further medical attention on Wednesday. “He is still in pain and finds it difficult to open his swollen jaw. He has several bruises where he was kicked on the head and in the face.
“They feared for their lives. One of the black BMW X5s drove to his side and an assault rifle was pointed at him. In that moment, he was convinced that they were going to be hijacked and drove on, hoping to escape. He had no reason to suspect that the passengers in the BMWs were law enforcement, as none of the BMWs had their blue lights or sirens on to identify them as police.
“When the second BMW pulled in front of their vehicle, they were forced to the side of the highway and had to stop. The gunmen’s attempts to break the front window failed, but they managed to break through the rear window with a gun and then opened the driver’s door. At that stage they hit the driver on the head with a firearm and proceeded to drag him out of the vehicle, after which he lost consciousness.”
Cameron believes the police’s handling of this incident is disgraceful. “As law enforcement officers, they should have arrested these criminals immediately. At a minimum, terminate their employment with immediate effect. Instead, some of the members were simply informed of the SAPS’s intention to possibly suspend them if they could not provide sufficient reasons for not being suspended.”