The South African Police Service (SAPS) is aware of the disturbing video on social media in which members of its VIP protection services unit allegedly assaulted three motorists on the N1 in Johannesburg.
Brig. Athlenda Mathe, spokesperson for the police, says the police officers in the video have already been identified after a preliminary investigation indicated that the men in the video are indeed members of the police.
The black BMW X5s that can be seen in the video also belong to the SAPS.
Meanwhile, the police have also located the victims in the video so that they can give statements. An internal departmental investigation is also being conducted.
In the disturbing video, several members of the police’s VIP protection services unit can be seen dragging three occupants out of a Volkswagen Polo along the highway before these men are repeatedly kicked.
The police officers then jump back into their BMW X5s and drive away.
Two of the persons get up soon after, but one remains unconscious.
It is not clear which government official was escorted during the incident.
Mathe said on Monday evening that the police distanced themselves from the behavior of the police officers in the video as it was not in line with the SAPS’s values and code of conduct. This code of conduct sets out the values and principles expected of all police members, including “integrity, professionalism, accountability and respect for human rights”.
General Fannie Masemola, the national police commissioner, also sharply condemned the incident.
“Members of the SAPS are supposed to uphold and protect the fundamental rights of every person and exercise the powers granted to them in a responsible and controlled manner. Such actions cannot be allowed, regardless of the circumstances.”