This article originally appeared on fieldsofgreenforall.co.za and was published with permission.

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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: Chatsworth, Westville, Malvern KZN

For CCTV footage, pics and recorded calls from this story, CLICK HERE

Events as told by the victim, Naveen Singh: On Friday the 5th of April 2019 at approximately 19h00 I was leaving my house to go meet a friend at the gate of the complex that I live in. I locked up the house, closed the garage door and reversed my car out of my driveway when I was approached by 3 males that looked like they are in their late 20s. Two of the men are Indian and the third is a Coloured.

The Indian male with the darker complexion (Later identified as Denver Denzal Naidoo) waved a police identification card at me. He asked me to step out of my vehicle. I asked him what this was about and he said that I knew what this was about and to get out of my car and open the door to the house so that we can go inside and sort this out. I replied saying that I am sorry but i cannot give them access to my premises unless they have a search warrant as I don’t know who they are and have my kids inside. And again I asked what this was in connection with. The man asked me if I was becoming a lawyer that I’m asking for a search warrant and the other two laughed at his comment. At that point I had to move my vehicle because i was blocking the road and a neighbor was trying to get past. I moved my vehicle onto the lawn in front of my property, picked up my cellphone off the seat and opened my car door and stepped out.

I was trying to call the Join the Queue hotline as I exited the vehicle because I feared for my safety. When the Cops saw me put the phone to my ear they all rushed towards me asking me who I was calling and proceeded to try and take the phone from my hand. I pointed out that I was trying to call my lawyer because the one Cop asked if I was becoming a lawyer because I asked for a Warrant. The Coloured Cop handcuffed my right hand and I asked if I am being arrested and what the charge was, at which point I was told that I was being difficult with them and they were trying to help me sort this out before it becomes a problem. My cellphone was taken from me by the fairer of the two Indian males and he used his cellphone with the cell number 0817304753 to call my number and when my phone rang he said “Yes this is the guy”.

I was still confused as to their motives or reason for coming to me. Again I was asked to let them come into my house and sit down with me and sort this out. And again I said that cannot give them any access to my private property unless they have a warrant.

My 10-year-old daughter heard the commotion outside and called my sister. My 4 year- old son & my daughter got scared so they came to the garage and opened the garage door. At which point the 3 men that identified themselves as policemen entered my premises through the garage without a warrant. I did not give them permission to enter my private property.

Upon entering my garage, the darker Indian Cop held my daughter & told her that they are friends of mine and to go inside because they want to talk to me. This terrified my daughter who I later saw inside crying in fear. Neither I nor my daughter gave this gentleman permission to touch her.

The three men proceeded to search my garage and private properly unlawfully. They entered the sheltered space outside my kitchen where i usually work and saw Cannabis that I had packed into 20ml medicine vials as well loose cannabis that I had stored in a glass jar. I was preparing for the Cannacon Cannabis Expo that I will be exhibiting in on the 3rd, 4th and 5th of May 2019. This is the reason I had all of my Cannabis laid out on the table.

The men continued to search my garage and home asking me what else I had hidden. I notified them that everything that they had seen in the garage and on the table was everything i had. They accused me of lying and told me that they know what I have been up to and that I am selling the weed to customers. I told them that their statements were not true but they continued to insist that I am a “Drug Merchant” and that I am selling Cannabis. For fear of my safety and that of my children I eventually agreed with their statement hoping that it will get them off my property and away from my children faster. At this point my sister and her husband arrived and I was told by the policemen to tell them that they are my friends that came to visit.

When my sister and her husband entered the house, the three policemen walked from the sheltered area into the garage and asked me to come with them, which I did. At this point I was told that they are going to arrest me for running a drug lab and selling drugs if I don’t co-operate with them.

I reluctantly asked them what they meant and what they wanted. At this point Denver Denzal, the darker of the two Indian policemen said that if I gave them R100 000 they would leave me alone and if I don’t give them the money they will arrest me. I told them that I did not have that kind of money and that I would not be able to give them that amount, at which point I was expecting to be arrested and extended my arms with my wrists together, but that was not the case, I was not being arrested. They told me to wait in the garage while they went outside to discuss it among themselves. The harassing and threatening from them continued for quite some time until it came to the point that I could see that they were getting impatient and agitated. The Colored man and the fair complexion Indian man proceeded to search my pockets and removed money from my right back pocket to the sum of R6000 that I had kept aside to pay for my daughter’s birthday gift and small party on the 9th of April. When they saw that money they said that I was lying and that I had more. They asked me what was in my safe in my bedroom and I told them it was just personal stuff that belonged to my late wife. I also told them that the R6000 was the only money that I had.

The Fair Complexion Indian man was the one doing the negotiating and told me to give him a few minutes to discuss this again and he will “Try and make a plan” for me.

After a few minutes they re-entered the garage and the fair skinned Policeman told me that they will take the R6000 as part payment and they will be back at the end of April & at the end of May to collect R5000 on each visit. They said that they were trying to help me out, and then proceeded to show me pictures of Cannabis & Drugs & “Other drug dealers” that “They were working with”. The Dark skinned Indian Policeman warned me that if I tell anyone about what they did then they will be back immediately and that I would not be living in this house anymore and I will never see my children again.

I told the three of them that will not tell anyone and as soon as they leave I was going to cut down all of my trees that I was growing for personal use and get rid of it all including my grow tent and equipment because I did not want any of this to happen again nor did I want my two little kids who lost their mum to a heart attack just over a year ago and their grandmother just over a year and a half ago to be put through this kind of trauma again. At this point I was again threatened that if I stop growing they will come and take away my entire growing set up and it will be very bad news for me and again I was told that I would not be living in this house anymore and I will never see my children again, if I stop growing. The policeman Denver Denzal motioned with his hands indicating a circle shape and said “This is the pie, it can be cut into pieces, you can’t eat the entire pie yourself”

I was stunned by this remark and just shook my head in disagreement to the statement.

The Dark skinned policeman also said to me that they are doing me a favor by letting me get away with R5000 at which point he took out about R1000 from the money that they took out of my back pocket, and gave the R1000 back to me. They then helped themselves to all of my Cannabis oil that I give to people that need to use it for PTSD, Insomnia, Pain etc., and Cannabis chocolates that I had for my own consumption both of which i had stored in the fridge in the garage. They also took a lot of the Cannabis that I had in the 20ml tablet vials and also made me empty the Cannabis from the jar into a packet so that they could take it with them to “Sort out their informant” as they said it.

The policeman Denver Denzal entered the house with me and I was asked to format my CCTV hard drive before they left or they will have to take the CCTV DVR with them. I did what I was told and when he saw that the hard drive was formatted and all footage thus erased he proceeded to exit the house. I followed him outside and into the garage.

Denver Denzal and the Coloured policeman walked out of the garage and waited outside while the fair skinned policeman spoke to me a bit more reminding me of the consequences if I told anyone about them coming to my residence and doing what they did. He also mentioned that he wants to continue doing business with me and would like for him and I to set up a grow-room together and run a business together selling Cannabis. I again did not know what to say so I just agreed. He said that they will be in touch soon and he left. They all entered a small white hatchback with the registration number ND 625-284 (Which was later identified as a state vehicle from Chatsworth Police Station) and they exited the complex that I live in.

He has since then sent me messages on WhatsApp from the same number that he rang my number from earlier that night. He says he wants to meet and discuss business going forward.

I fear for my safety and the safety of my children but in good conscience I have decided that the right thing to do is report this to the proper authorities and bring these men to justice. I would hate for them to do this to another innocent person so it is important that these men are stopped.

After they left I noticed that the CCTV cameras did record them leaving my property. I have clipped this footage and have it saved and have submitted copies to IPID. I have also sent this footage to a few police officers that are assisting me with resolving this issue. I have sent the hard drive in to a forensics company that specializes in recovering deleted data from hard drives.

At the end of March, I was again contacted by the fair skinned policeman who wanted to make arrangements to pick up the R5000 from me. I told him that I will need till Monday to get the money and he said he will call me on Monday to make proper arrangements. I again contacted IPID (the Independent Police Investigative Directorate) & reported the call to them. The fair skinned policeman did not contact me after that probably because they got wind of the fact that I had already reported them to IPID or for some other reason they got spooked.

On the 15th of June I was cornered by a Silver VW hatchback with 3 Indian male occupants in a parking lot in Westville where I stopped to buy drinks from a liquor store. One of the Indian men walked to my driver’s side door holding a police scanner in his hand. When he got to the window he asked me if I was Naveen and I said yes I am. He asked me to step out of the car because he wanted to talk to me. I asked him what he wanted to talk about and he pointed to my see-through plastic case that I had on my back seat with my weed in it and he said I want to talk to you about what you have on your back seat. My window was open about 10cm down and so I said to him that he could talk to me through the window as I could hear him loud and clear. He again asked me to step out of the car and so I asked him if he had a warrant. He said that he doesn’t need a warrant and he just wants to talk to me. I told him that I will follow him to the nearest police station & he can question me there.

He started getting agitated and put his hand through the open window & moved it towards me saying that he “knows that I am selling weed…”. I closed my window onto his arm thus jamming it in place and I immediately phoned a close friend of mine who is a policeman & was well aware of my 5th of April ordeal & everything that followed. I told him what was going on & asked him to please tell the cop at my window that I will follow him to the nearest police station where I will answer any questions he has for me. My policeman friend spoke to the officer that was by window and notified him of the IPID “case” that I had opened against Denver Denzal Naidoo and his 2 buddies and that the only way that I will step out of my car and let him question me is if they let me follow them to the nearest police station & question me there. The officer at my window reluctantly agreed. I released his arm from my window & he walked back to his car saying to me that I must follow them to Westville police station. The driver of the car reversed and stopped and waited for me to come out of the parking. I hesitated a bit because I waited for him to drive forward and let me follow them. When I saw that he was waiting I reversed alongside him & opened my passenger side window a bit and the driver of the VW Hatchback told me to drive to Westville police station and that they would follow me. I told him that I didn’t know where the police station was because I was not from the area. He asked me which area I was from and I said Queensburgh. He asked me if I knew Malvern police station & I said yes. He then told me that I can drive to Malvern police station & that they would follow me there.

About halfway to Malvern they disappeared from behind me. I still proceeded to Malvern police station and waited for them for over an hour. I notified one of the Warrant Officers at Malvern police station about the day’s events regarding the 3 policemen & showed him the pictures I had taken of them. He told me to wait a bit and went and spoke to his Captain. On returning, he told me that his Captain advises that I contact IPID. I went back to IPID a few days later and added to my previous statement to them. On this day another victim of Denver Denzal’s came forward with me to make a statement at IPID. It is through this guy that I got a few pictures of Denver Denzal Naidoo and his fair skinned accomplice and I was told of the ordeal that Denver Denzal Naidoo and his 2 accomplices put the guy through after accusing him of selling Dagga.

Almost 2 months later now I was again “Visited” by Denver Denzal Naidoo, BUT this time he brought along Metro Police as well as the Dog Unit after leading them to believe that he was acting on a tip that he received. Apparently he had arrested someone that day who told him that he had bought weed from me. I was not even home that day. And I was not aware that people can still be arrested for Dagga even after the September 2018 Concourt hearing.

As you will see in the footage attached, my house was raided by Denver Denzal & colleagues. Starting with them jumping over the wall into my forecourt and mowing down some of my trees and damaging my attached neighbors aircon in the process. My fiancé & I saw them walking towards the house & we both went into the house immediately and locked the door as soon as we saw Denver Denzal on the CCTV monitor. Three officers including Denver Denzal Naidoo entered my property without a warrant and then opened my garage door and allowed several other law enforcement officers to enter my garage and then they proceeded to conduct an illegal search. Completely infringing on my civil rights. We were harassed, private space invaded and we were insulted & defamed for what seemed like forever as we waited for my Awesome lawyer Mr. F K to arrive.

I overheard one of the people in the complex who was driving past asking a Metro Cop that was standing on the side of the road in front of my house what was going on & the Metro Cop told person that “They have a Drug Lab at this house, as he pointed to my house. When my fiancé asked one of the officers standing by my kitchen window what this was all about, he told her that we are manufacturing drugs here and they came to arrest us LOL.

Upon my Lawyers arrival he notified one of the Captains (Captain R) that was on the scene, that we are not giving them permission to enter and search. And if they choose to do so, they do it at their own risk and we will see them in court. After hours of deliberation most of the police officer disappeared from the scene one by one after we had brought it to everyone’s attention that Denver Denzal Naidoo was here before and what him & his 2 accomplices had done here on the night of the 5th of April and that I had an IPID case open against him & Co. We also asked the question… How was it that Denver Denzal Naidoo brought them here WITHOUT A WARRANT by saying that he was acting on a “tip” when he was here in my house months ago and saw everything that I had here and knew that I was growing Dagga for personal use & also making oil & edible for personal use but acted like it was the 1st time he was at my house and was seeing everything for the 1st time.

The evening ended for most around 11:30pm after the last 3 officers & Captain R made me sign their little notebook acknowledging that they were letting me off with a warning. I am still unclear of what the warning really was but I was told that I need to stop doing what I am doing with the Dagga and consider doing something else. At which point I replied asking what they meant and if they thought that I should stop growing & smoking dagga, should I then rather smoke crack & sniff cocaine instead. I said “No thank you, I will not touch any shit. I will continue to grow my weed & smoke it” no matter how many times they come to “visit” me. I was told that I can expect a few more visits from them and that Captain R was going to open an inquiry. I told them that they are welcome to visit me whenever they wanted to but to please do it like gentlemen and not how it was done on that night. I have nothing to hide. (Although I am now weary that Denver Denzal Naidoo may want to access my private property again & plant some evidence of his own… I’m sure he is more than capable of thinking like that seeing as how he believes that he’s an untouchable Gangster who has been doing this to many people without consequence). In fact, my Lawyer and I even gave Captain R a walkthrough of my property and I showed her whatever Dagga & oil & edibles I had as well as all my plants of which she was also allowed to take pictures of.

Denver Denzal Naidoo probably didn’t know that the DVR started recording immediately after he made me format the hard drive and it captured clear footage of him & his buddies leaving my place. He probably didn’t know that the vehicle that he came here with had already been traced back to the state and that I was already notified that tracking data will even put them at my place on the 5th of April. I wonder what he put on his report for that evening to explain their whereabouts and activities for the hours that they spent at my place without a warrant and with no arrest or signature of mine in their event book with a warning like I was asked to sign this Thursday night the 22nd of August. He isn’t a friend of mine and neither was he just visiting. He was out playing Gangster. Perhaps he thinks he’s Denzel Washington in training day who knows. I practically let the incident in April be, thinking “They aren’t Bothering me anymore so I won’t Bother them” & I had already made an appointment to go in to IPID this coming Monday to close the “Case” I had open against Denver Denzal Naidoo and his 2 colleagues but it’s become apparent that Denver Denzal Naidoo thinks that he can do whatever he wants to & is above the law just because he carries a badge. I would love to hear what the minister of police & the rest of his superiors think about his actions & have to say in his honor or defense.

I know that Denver Denzal Naidoo and friends have done this to a lot of people based on the pictures they showed me on the night of the 5th of April, AND will continue to do so unless they are stopped. So I hereby invite anyone in the greater Durban area that has fallen victim to this crew to come forward. I think a class action suit is in the making.

Don’t be afraid my friends. Come forward & we will stand together. We need to #StopTheCops especially the bad apples like these ones. When will this Harassment & Intimidation end????