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By Cornelia Le Roux

Digital Deputy News Editor

‘I am not okay’: Victim’s horror account of VIP blue light assault

One of the victims of the blue light brigade assault gives a detailed account of the events leading up to the incident.

On Monday afternoon, a video clip of the brutal assault of a motorist and two of his passengers by VIP Protection Unit members on the N1 highway near Fourways, in Johannesburg, went viral on social media.

In the video, the armed officers can be seen dragging three males from a blue VW Polo before taking turns to violently kick the unarmed victims while they are lying on the road.

Mashatile’s VIP Protection Unit shocks SA with brutal assault

It has since been confirmed that the particular VIP Protection Unit was that of Deputy President Paul Mashatile. The officials have been suspended while the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) has launched an investigation into the matter.

paul mashatile VIP protection unit N1 assault Fourways
Members of Deputy President Paul Mashatile’s VIP Protection Unit are seen assaulting three men on the N1 highway. near Sunninghill, in Johannesburg, on Monday. Photos: Gulshan Khan/ AFP and Twitter video screengrab

According to the SA National Defence Union (Sandu), the three victims are South African Defence Force (SANDF) members that are undergoing military police training in Pretoria.

ALSO READ: Paul Mashatile’s office confirms his VIP officers were involved in shocking assault video

‘I am not okay’: Assaulted driver lays charge of assault

The driver of the vehicle, L’vaughn Fisher, has since laid a charge of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm at the Sandton Police Station.

Non-profit organisation Action Society’s director of community safety, Ian Cameron, spoke to Fisher, who had to receive further medical attention on Wednesday for his injuries.

“He was hit over the head with an assault rifle and then repeatedly kicked in the head while already unconscious from the first rifle blows. After we spoke about his physical injuries, I asked how he was emotionally. He went silent and after a long pause he said: I am not okay,” Cameron quoted Fisher in a statement released by Action Society.

n1 vip assault
VIP Protection Unit officials brutally assaulted three men on the N1 highway near Sunninghill, in Johannesburg, on Monday. Photo: Twitter video screengrab

Cameron added that Action Society obtained an official mandate from Fisher to assist him with criminal and possible civil charges against the South African Police Services (Saps) officers, the relevant commanders, as well as Police Minister Bheki Cele.

ALSO READ: ‘VIP protection unit raises concerns of threats to motorists’ – AA

Blow-by-blow account of what happened

According to Fischer’s account of events leading up to the assault, they were en route from Johannesburg to Pretoria when a black SUV [a BMW X5] suddenly appeared next to their vehicle.

One of the BMW’s occupants allegedly pointed an assault rifle at Fischer who was behind the wheel.

Cameron said Fischer and his passengers’ first thought was that they were going to be hijacked.

Fearing for their lives, Fischer continued driving in the hope of escaping the “hijackers”.

Fischer said there were no flashing blue lights or sirens to identify the occupants of the BMW as police.

At this point, the VW Polo was boxed in by more SUVs and forced to the left side of the N1 highway, leaving them no other option but to stop.

The occupants of the SUVs got out of their vehicles and surrounded the Polo while brandishing firearms.

Fischer said when the armed men’s attempts to smash their front windscreen failed, they proceeded to smash the back window using a rifle.

They then opened the driver’s side door and hit Fisher on the head with a firearm before dragging him out of the vehicle.

At this point, Fischer was already unconscious, but in the video one of the attackers then continues to kick him and stomp on his head.

WATCH: VIP highway assault

DISCLAIMER: The following video contains graphic content.

Ipid responds to Action Society’s claim of single charge of assault

Cameron expressed Action Society’s shock and dismay at the fact that Ipid has only managed to file a charge of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm from one of the victims.

“We have just confirmed that only one charge was opened by Ipid against the blue-light officers . This means that attempted murder, intimidation, pointing a firearm and malicious damage to property have all been left out. Action Society SA is following up,” he said.

Ipid national spokesperson, Robbie Raburabu, however refuted Action Society’s claims.

“I can confirm that Ipid is investigating three charges of assault, malicious damage to property in respect of the vehicle, and pointing a firearm,” Raburabu told IOL.

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