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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist


VIP Protection Unit members make emotional pleas for bail

The eight men attached to Deputy President Paul Mashatile’s security detail were filmed assaulting three people on the N1 highway.


The eight South African Police Service (Saps) members that were part of the VIP Protection Unit who assaulted civilians on a highway in Johannesburg said the state has a weak case against them.

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, made their second appearance at the Randburg Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.

They are facing 12 counts ranging from traffic infringement, several charges of assault, malicious damage to property and the pointing of a firearm.

They intend pleading not guilty.

Watch the court proceedings:

Plea for bail

The eight men attached to Deputy President Paul Mashatile’s security detail made an emotional plea for bail, claiming they will suffer prejudice if not released.

Advocate Xabiso Shotshonganye, representing Mampuru, Mofokeng and Ramokhonami who are accused 2, 3 and 4, read out one of his client’s motivation for bail to be granted.

“I therefore respectfully submit I cannot be kept in custody for a matter that is still under investigation.”

ALSO READ: ‘Traumatised’ VIP Protection Unit accused denies assault in surprise court twist

Traffic rules

He also addressed allegations that the VIP protection unit members do not obey traffic rules.

“This is based on speculation because I have always abided by the traffic rules and if I did not, as it is alleged that I do not abide by them on a regular basis, I should have a stream of charges and convictions.”

Unmasking

Shotshonganye said the allegations that his clients were the perpetrators on the day of the assault still has to be decided by the court.

“And as far as I know, the offence took place on 2 July 2023. Since then until today I have never been positively identified by any of the complainants or the role I actively played on the date in question.”

The affidavits submitted to court by the eight Saps VIP Protection members were similar.

Those who listed bail amounts said they could afford R1 000.

ALSO READ: Blue light assault: Masked VIP Protection Unit members formally charged in court [WATCH]

The court also ordered that the eight accused remove their masks for the purpose of identification when the video of the N1assault is viewed on Thursday.

Assault

A widely circulated video on social media showed how the VIP police officers – brandishing rifles and pistols – jumped out of a BMW X5 and attacked the occupants of a VW Polo.

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

Mashatile has since confirmed the incident, saying he abhorred the unnecessary use of force, particularly against unarmed civilians by the VIP Protection officers.

ALSO READ: VIP highway assault: Suspended blue light officials still get full pay

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