News / South Africa / Crime

Stephen Selaluke
2 minute read
29 May 2019
10:32 am

US students robbery suspect accuses SAPS officer of assault

Stephen Selaluke

The accused claims he was assaulted by three uniformed police officers wearing balaclavas in a police van and that he was refused medical treatment.

File image.

A Mamelodi East man accused of robbing 18 foreign students and two professors visiting a local school recently has claimed the police assaulted him.

The 30-year-old man appeared briefly in the Mamelodi Magistrate’s Court this week for the robbery at Viva Foundation private school, Mamelodi East, on May 13, reports Pretoria East Rekord.

According to an affidavit he deposed last Thursday, the man alleged that the investigating officer had taken him from the Mamelodi East police station to identify his accomplices.

He claims that in the police van, he had been assaulted by three uniformed police officers wearing balaclavas.

When he allegedly requested to be taken to the clinic after the assault, they refused.

ALSO READ: Two more suspects arrested in connection with Mamelodi robbery of US students

The accused also claimed that the investigating officer was not aware of the incident and that he was not allowed visitors or contact with the outside world.

The students and professors from the US were on an outreach visit to the school in Lusaka, Mamelodi East, when they were robbed of their personal belongings, including laptops, plane tickets, cameras, bags, passports, cellphones, and US currency by five men who fled in a Toyota Quantum.

The robbers were also alleged to have pistol-whipped a teacher, while a local was struck by a stray bullet in the hand as the men fired randomly as they fled the scene.

Their getaway vehicle was later found abandoned at a car wash in Mamelodi East phase 3.

The man was arrested in Pienaarspoort informal settlement, far east of Mamelodi on May 16.

Magistrate Seckle Marupeng postponed the case to July 16 for further investigations after the man’s lawyer had abandoned the man’s bail application. The man faces charges of business robbery, attempted murder, and assault.

Men aged 24 and 39, arrested at the weekend in connection with the robbery, were later released when they could not be linked to the robbery.

An identification parade has been delayed because some of the victims were currently in Cape Town.

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