South Africa

Silence on assault of Cape homeless man

Silence on assault of Cape homeless man
The Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID) and city council officials are remaining tight-lipped about what happened to the homeless man who was allegedly assaulted by CCID and law enforcement officials on August 6 near Leeuwen Street in the CBD.

Rudy Oosterwyk, the man who witnessed and captured the scene on video as he walked through the CBD, laid a complaint with the city council and the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) the day after the incident.

There is still no word, however, on what happened to the homeless man after the assault took place and whether or not he was taken to the hospital for the injuries he sustained.

The SAHRC said it would be looking into the matter to establish whether the matter was within its mandate.

City council executive director for safety and security Richard Bosman said their internal investigation into the incident was ongoing and the assaulted homeless person was fined by the officers in question.

“We have obtained statements from the officers involved in the incident and have secured video footage from a nearby CCTV camera,” said Bosman.

Oosterwyk said on the day of the incident he saw about six men wearing CCID and law enforcement uniforms, with one man in jeans and a radio in his back pocket.

“The homeless man, who looked to be about 60 years old, was held up and attacked with pepper spray in the eyes and face before being pushed around by the men, who then commenced to dig their knees into his legs and chest.

“When I asked what they were doing, they told me I had no right to take a video of them and that they were busy with a law enforcement operation,” he said.

Sharon Sorour-Morris, spokesperson for the CCID, said the organisation’s officials were aware of the incident but unable to comment while it is being investigated by the city council.

“The CCID takes any complaint, allegation or instance of misconduct very seriously, and should it be found that our officers are guilty of misconduct, we will take appropriate action.”


Cape Argus