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By Cornelia Le Roux

Digital Deputy News Editor

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

The VIP protection unit whose assault of three men on the N1 went viral, is assigned to Deputy President Paul Mashatile.

The office of Deputy President Paul Mashatile has confirmed that the VIP officers caught on camera assaulting a motorist on the N1 highway belong to his protection unit.

The heavily armed police officers were captured on video viciously assaulting the three occupants of a VW Polo.

Paul Mashatile’s office makes U-turn on VIP unit

Initially, the office of the deputy president denied the allegation, according to SowetanLIVE.

“All we know is what we have seen from the video. We do not know those people and the Saps is usually responsible for deploying the deputy president’s protection,” said Mashatile’s spokesperson Vukani Mde.

“VIP protection services move around. They may have been assigned to the deputy president, or the president or any other political principal.

However, in a sudden U-turn, Mashatile’s office confirmed that the VIP protection members involved in the incident are indeed assigned to him.

“The deputy president abhors any unnecessary use of force, particularly against unarmed civilians,” a statement read.

Saps trace victims

Police on Tuesday said they were in the process of obtaining statements from the victims who have since been tracked down.

“The Saps have since successfully traced the victims of this incident. The process to obtain their statements continues as part of the probe,” said police spokesperson Brigadier Athlenda Mathe.

“The police officers involved have also been identified and will be subjected to internal processes. Management of the Saps views this as serious and will get to the bottom of this incident,” said police spokesperson Brigadier Athlenda Mathe.

WATCH: VIP protection unit’s brutal highway assault

Disclaimer: The following video contains graphic content.

Mashatile reigns supreme over security cluster

Earlier this year, President Cyril Ramaphosa placed Mashatile in charge of the country’s security cluster, including all its intelligence services.

The cluster consists of ministers Bheki Cele (police), Thandi Modise (defence), Aaron Motsoaledi (home affairs), Ronald Lamola (justice and correctional services) and Khumbudzo Ntshavheni (state security in the presidency).

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