Fortune Matemane, a second-year computer science student, is financially dependent on his parents.
When he received a call from his mother on the Monday informing him she was unable to transfer money to his account, he went to the bank to investigate the matter.
“At the bank I was told my card was on hold and that I had to report the matter to the police,” Matemane explained to Bosveld Review.
He said he returned to the university to drop off his books and one of his friends offered to accompany him to the police station.
“On our way to the Mankweng Police Station, a police minibus drove past us and we decided to ask the officers for a lift to the station to save some time as it was already late afternoon and we wanted to get back to the bank before it closed. Instead of giving us a lift, one of the police officers insulted us and the minibus drove off.”
Matemane said when they arrived at the police station, they found the same officers who were in the minibus at the station and he decided to ask the officer why he insulted them when they asked for a lift.
“The police officer insulted me again and another officer pushed me into the passage and I fell to the ground. He was joined by other police officers who started beating me up,” Matemane said, explaining that his friend, who waited at reception, was unaware of the situation.
“I eventually managed to get up and get away from the officers. At this point, I no longer just wanted to open a case relating to my bank card, I wanted to open a case of assault against the police officers, but nobody could assist me. I then decided to call my dad and told him what happened and he advised me to report the matter to the station commander. Unfortunately, the station commander was not available on that day, so I left the station and returned to the university where I decided to report the matter at the university radio station and the Student Representative Council (SRC),” Matemane said.
He explained he returned to his room, took some painkillers and went to sleep.
The next day he returned to the Mankweng Police Station to report the assault to the station commander.
“When I got to the police station, the station commander took me to a woman who assisted me to open a case,” he said.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo confirmed eight police officers were being investigated after a case of assault was opened against them in the Mankweng policing area.
“The investigation emanates from an incident on 5 March at 16:00 when the complainant was allegedly assaulted by police after requesting a lift from them. An argument led to an assault between the parties. The case is being investigated by the Mankweng detective team,” Mojapelo said.