Brian Sokutu
Senior Print Journalist
2 minute read
28 Apr 2020
2:09 pm

Arrested and harassed for trying to earn a living

Brian Sokutu

Imagine what a country we could be living in, if police employed the same zeal to dealing with criminals as they do to old ladies selling veggies and journalists doing their jobs.

A man is arrested by the metro police for breaking the lockdown laws during a joint South African Police Services (SAPS) and South African National Defense Force (SANDF) patrol on day 31 of the national lockdown as a result of the ongoing coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic in Johannesburg, South Africa, 26 April 2020. The patrol was in the high density areas of Hillbrow and Yeoville where civilians are still breaking the strict lockdown rules. Those that where breaking the rules where arrested. South Africa's Stage 5 lockdown is due to end 30 April 2020 when stage 4 will be implemented. Picture: EPA-EFE/KIM LUDBROOK

It had all the hallmarks of a hardcore police operation: the ringing of sirens, and overzealous blue-uniformed police officers leaping from a convoy of cars and vans - right in front of a busy Kempton Park butchery. Their target? An elderly woman selling vegetables to the public. Upon spotting an approaching police convoy, the woman ran into the butchery to mingle among other shoppers, temporarily evading arrest while the officers confiscated her vegetables from her makeshift stand, stationed next to a pavement. The police then went into the butchery and dragged the woman outside, before she was handcuffed and bundled...