We report on true stories of abuse by the South African Police “Service”. Unedited. Published on request and with permission.
If you would like us to tell your story (anonymously if you wish) please contact our #StopTheCops Dagga Arrest Helpline.
Police stations involved: Pinetown, Durban
Events as told by the victim:
First of all I would like to thank you for your prompt response. You guys are doing a great job.
On the 6th of November 2019 around 10:00am I was on the Durban promenade. Out of nowhere appeared two police officers armed with big caliber guns. They immediately started searching me, opened my car that was parked. They found a bag containing about 50 grams of cannabis that was kept in my cubbyhole. As I deemed it as my personal space.
They handcuffed me, and started threatening me that, If I do not give them my address that this will all turn out very badly, and that they will charge me with things that I have not even committed. They processed my number plate, then accused me of stealing the vehicle. I then informed them that the vehicle is not registered in my name, but that I am the legal driver of the said vehicle. They hard handedly pushed me into my vehicles passenger seat, still handcuffed but realising that we are nearing my home residence, being cursed at, personally humiliated.
At the time we arrived at my gate, the police officer demanded me to press the button to open the gate. I then informed him that I do not give him permission to enter my property without a search warrant. He started pressing all 6 buttons on the remote until the gate started opening.
They escorted me into my home, handcuffed in the presence of my gardener and domestic worker. I have two small dogs, my children. The one officer said “shut them up, or I will shoot them”.
They kept me contained in one area of the property, while they searched the entire place. Making vulgar remarks regarding me and my partner’s sexuality. They helped themselves to beverages in my fridge.
They found my small indoor indoor grow for personal use, as my partner is diagnosed with depression and bi-polar disorder. There where cars and vans pulling up my driveway one after the other. Dressed in protective clothing and masks, they swept onto my property. Trashing the grow room. Dismantling of lights, bashing hygrometers on the ground with their feet. Pouring out nutrient solutions onto my lawn.
After they have destroyed everything they drove me to the Pinetown police station, after being kept for 7 hours while sweeping through my property. They charged me with “dealing “ as it is not possible according to them for a household to consume 50 grams of cannabis.
My partner contacted Fields of Green For All, and Charl assisted us and forwarded us the number of a Durban attorney as well as my rights. It came to my attention that the police officers that arrested me are from the Special Crimes Unit and Durban City. It was made clear that bail was out of the question on the said day, my partner arranged Mr. K to appear on my behalf in the Pinetown Magistrates Court on the 7th of November 2019.
The staff and Pinetown station where very friendly, and accommodating. They gave me a single holding cell and a broom to clean if I wish to do so. I really appreciated this after the treatment I received the last 8+ hours.
While kept in the holding cells at the Pinetown Magistrates Court, I was assaulted for not having cigarettes for my fellow cell mates. My pants and underwear was pulled to look if I am hiding any cigarettes or valuables. Being hit in the face and threatened with dirty used needles. A few hours passed until they opened the gate and said, you are free to go.
The case was thrown out, all to be returned to its owner, also another obstacle to overcome as the police are not good and giving stuff back. BUT left with thousands in damages, terrified and humiliated.
Thanks Charl for all you have done for us, the attorney is a friendly go to guy that knows the law, he needs to be the go to guy in KZN.
Keep up the good work.