Chaos erupted at the Fernwood Primary School voting station in Bethelsdorp on Monday after Democratic Alliance (DA) federal council chair Helen Zille was dragged out by a man in a South African Police Service (Saps) uniform.
In a video shared by HeraldLIVE, Zille can be seen forcefully taken out of the voting station by the man in uniform, as party members tell him to stop “manhandling” her.
“Please just take a picture of him,” Zille can be heard saying in the video.
The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) said it was investigating the matter.
“Ipid is investigating a case of assault where it is alleged that the complainant is Mrs. Helen Zille. It is alleged that she opened a case of assault against a police officer after they mishandled her. It is also alleged that there was a person who was taking a video of the incident and the police took his phone which was later handed back to him, this person later opened a theft case. An Ipid investigator is trying to get hold of Mrs Zille with no luck. Investigations are continuing,” said Ipid spokesperson Grace Langa in a statement.
According to Langa, Zille was allegedly seen talking to people at the voting station and one of the people reported her to the presiding officers and alleged she had been campaigning at the centre.
“The presiding officer allegedly requested that she should stop and be removed from the area. That’s when the police officers approached her, allegedly pushed her out and took her phone. It is alleged that the same phone which was taken by the police is the same phone used to take the video.”
The Ipid says it has not been able to reach Zille as her phone is off.
While she has been accused of canvassing at the station, the HeraldLIVE report, however, suggests Helen Zille only asked people to be patient and wait for their turn as the queue was long.
This is a developing story.