VIP assault ‘blood money’: Victim plans to sue Bheki Cele, Saps for R1m
One of the victims of the shock VIP Protection Unit assault has initiated proceedings to sue Police Minister Bheki Cele and Saps for R1m.
A screenshot of the viral video clip of the VIP Protection Unit assault of a motorist and his passengers on the N1 highway, near Fourways, in Johannesburg, on Monday, 3 July. Photo: Twitter
Last week Monday’s vicious assault by Deputy Minister Paul Mashatile’s security detail of a motorist and his two passengers on the N1 highway, near Fourways, in Johannesburg, sparked a massive outcry against police brutality.
The eight officials of the particular blue light brigade of the South African Police Services (Saps) have been suspended while the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) is investigating criminal charges of assault.
Highway horror: Brutal blue light assault of military trainees
In a video clip of the assault which went viral, the armed officers can be seen dragging three males from a blue VW Polo before taking turns to violently kick the unarmed victims while they are lying on the road.
According to the SA National Defence Union (Sandu), the three victims are South African Defence Force (SANDF) members undergoing military police training.
The victims were en route to the Thaba Tshwane military base, in Pretoria, when they were forced to stop on the side of the road by a blue light brigade convoy of black SUVs.
Assault victim plans to sue Cele, Saps for R1m
The driver of the vehicle, 25-year-old infantryman L’vaughn Fisher, has since laid a charge of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm at the Sandton Police Station.
“He was hit over the head with an assault rifle and then repeatedly kicked in the head while already unconscious from the first rifle blows. After we spoke about his physical injuries, I asked how he was emotionally. He went silent and after a long pause he said: I am not okay,” Action Society’s director of community safety, Ian Cameron, said in a statement released by the non-profit organisation last week.
Fisher’s lawyer, Daniel Eloff, told TimesLIVE that the 25-year-old infantryman has started the process of suing Police Minister Bheki Cele and the Saps for R1 million.
The claim of the impending lawsuit is based on the psychological and physical trauma Fisher suffered during the assault.
Eloff added that the “amount may be amended after all medical reports have been obtained”.
Saps served with notice
According to Eloff, they’ve already served the Saps with a notice of their intention to sue.
“They get 60 days to respond to it. So you can’t actually issue a summons before you’ve issued that notice. So we’ve now done that and we’re now waiting for the end of that period and thereafter we’ll be able to issue a summons against them.”
VIP Protection Unit ‘acted in thuggish way’
The lawyer told EWN that he is feeling confident about the possibility of a successful outcome for his client.
“The point is the evidence is there, the witnesses are there. And to be quite frank, these members of the Saps VIP Unit acted in a thuggish way and completely unlawfully. So we really are confident in this matter.”
Eloff and Ulrich Roux, who is representing the other assault victims, confirmed to TimesLIVE that none of the blue light brigade officers have officially been charged.