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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

Paul Mashatile’s VIP protection officers N1 assault case back in court

The suspended VIP Protection members are all currently out on R10 000 bail each.

The assault case of the eight South African Police Service (Saps) VIP Protection members of Deputy President Paul Mashatile returns to the Randburg Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.

The suspended VIP Protection members are all currently out on R10 000 bail each.

Shadrack Molekatlane Kojana, Johannes Matome Mampuru, Pomso Joseph Mofokeng, Harmans Madumetja Ramokhonami, Phineas Molefo Boshielo, Churchill Mpakameseni Mkhize, Lesibana Aggrie Rambau, and Moses Fhatuwani Tshidada are facing several charges. 

These include traffic infringement, several charges of assault, malicious damage to property and the pointing of a firearm.

Rogue police

All eight of the accused VIP officers have submitted affidavits to the court saying they intend on pleading not guilty to the charges.

During their bail application, Magistrate Hlengiwe Mkhabisi said the VIP Protection officers – who assaulted civilians on the N1 highway, in Johannesburg – abused their power.

“The applicants were in a position of power, they abused their powers, they misused police resources in a country wherein our communities are not receiving the proper police service they so deserve.

“It is disheartening that the people we are supposed to depend on, have assumed the role of rogue police officials,” Mkhabisi said.

ALSO READ: ‘They abused their powers’- Mashatile’s VIP protectors granted R10K bail

N1 assault

The officers were arrested for being caught on video beating civilians on the side of the N1 highway last month.

The widely circulated video on social media showed the VIP police officers – brandishing rifles and pistols – jumping out of a BMW X5 and attacking the occupants of a VW Polo.

They drag the passengers out of their car, and began kicking them as they lay on the ground.

While Mashatile confirmed the incident, he insists he was not on the scene at the time of the assault.

Last month, Police Minister Bheki Cele broke his silence on the VIP Protection Unit case, saying the negative impact and narrative of the members assaulting civilians on the N1 highway put the police on the back foot.

ALSO READ: VIP cops: Cele breaks his silence on assault of civilians

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