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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

VIP Protection Unit officers served with suspension letters

A video of the vicious attack went viral showing the occupants of a VW Polo being dragged from their vehicle and being assaulted.

Police have confirmed that four members of the VIP Protection Unit who were seen assaulting three men on the N1 highway in Fourways have been served with suspension letters.

The four members are assigned to the deputy president, Paul Mashatile.

The three SANDF trainees were viciously attacked by the members of the police VIP Protection Services last weekend.

 A widely circulated video on social media showed how the men 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, also seen in the video, before kicking them as they lay helpless on the ground.

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

Suspension notices

Police spokesperson Brigadier Athlenda Mathe said the officers were served with the notices.

“In terms of the Saps [South African Police Service] disciplinary regulations they must provide representations why they should not be suspended under the circumstances. Their representations will be considered, and the outcome will be communicated to them,” said Mathe.

She said police management do not condone such behaviour regardless of the circumstances.

“We are saying no provocation can lead to such behaviour and we are moving with speed to address this unacceptable behaviour.”

ALSO READ: WATCH: Blue light VIP Saps officers assault motorists

Case opened

Meanwhile, Independent Police investigative Directorate (IPID) spokesperson told The Citizen a case was registered against the VIP Protection police officers

“A case has been registered at the Sandton police station last night. The charges include three counts of assault, pointing a firearm and malicious damage to property regarding the vehicle that was dumped.”

SANDF union

Meanwhile, the South African National Defence Union (Sandu) said it has spoken to one of the victims of the vicious attack.

“All victims in the incident are SANDF members and one of the union. IPID interviewed the victims on the afternoon of 4 July 2023 and advised the victims to refrain from engaging any Saps officers while the investigation is conducted.”

“Sandu has urged that space be given to IPID and the victims to conclude its investigation while remaining in constant contact and support of the victims while they work through this traumatic experience,” it said.

The union also condemned what it called the “unlawful police brutality.”

ALSO READ: Ipid investigating VIP protection cops after vicious assault