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IPID to probe vicious assault on motorists by Paul Mashatile’s security unit as rage ignites across SA

IPID to probe vicious assault on motorists by Paul Mashatile’s security unit as rage ignites across SA
VIP protection unit assaulting motorists on the highway in Johannesburg. (Photo:Screengrabs)|Paul Mashatile, SA Deputy President. (Photo: Gallo Images/Darren Stewart)

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate is investigating the VIP protection unit attached to Deputy President Paul Mashatile after a widely circulated video appears to show members of the unit punching and kicking Joburg motorists and passengers on a Gauteng highway. 

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) is investigating allegations of assault against members of SAPS’ Protection and Security Services programme attached to the protection detail of Deputy President Paul Mashatile.

This comes after wide public circulation of a 57-second video allegedly showing armed officers of Mashatile’s protection unit attacking three civilians on what appears to be the N1 highway. The video depicts armed members of the unit — who were driving a black BMW — dragging a civilian to the edge of the highway before punching and kicking him on the ground. 

The video, taken by a motorist witnessing the attack, shows another of the civilians, who appears to be lying unconscious on the side of the road.




Hours after the video went viral on social media, Mashatile’s office confirmed that members of his protection unit had allegedly been involved in the incident.

Mashatile was not present at the time of the incident,  according to his spokesperson Vukani Mde.

“He was not in any of the cars and even if he was — meaning, therefore, there was ‘risk’ — it would not in any way justify the actions taken,” Mde told Daily Maverick.

The circumstances prior to the assault remain unclear and the victims have not yet been publically identified.

SAPS is currently investigating the circumstances leading to the assault and has since identified the officers and victims, according to Brigadier Athlenda Mathe.

In a statement on Tuesday, Mashatile denounced the unnecessary use of force, particularly against unarmed civilians.

“Members of the SAPS are meant to uphold and protect the fundamental rights of every person and exercise the powers conferred upon them in a responsible and controlled manner,” the statement read.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Paul Mashatile VIP assault highlights police protection an expensive excuse for thuggery and vanity

Commenting on the incident, Outa CEO Wayne Duvenage told Daily Maverick, “The conduct which the country and the world has witnessed in the video clip is obviously very concerning and quite frankly, despicable and unbecoming of people employed in the enforcement arm of our criminal justice system. 

“Whatever triggered the incident, this is a display of immaturity and extremely low IQ when it comes to dealing with a situation. I sincerely hope that the authorities will throw the book at these individuals. In addition, I hope the SAPS will assist the victims by supporting them and encouraging them to press charges.

“I also hope that a top law firm will provide pro-bono services to bring both criminal and civil charges against the individuals and the police in this instance. Here I’d suggest that we [the authorities] need to go further, to establish if all the people ‘involved’ in this fiasco, have received professional and requisite training to fulfil these positions. This situation is a symptom of a bigger problem.”

The video has sparked outrage on social media over what is perceived to be SAPS officials’ abuse of power. 

Demands for ‘VIP Protection Unit thugs’ to be arrested

DA Shadow Minister of Police Andrew Whitfield said the blue light incident displayed “a shocking abuse of power”.

“It is not enough for these offenders to face internal disciplinary processes within the SAPS. We demand that they be arrested and subjected to the full force of the law.”

Songezo Zibi, leader of Rise Mzansi wrote, “Those VIP Protection Unit thugs behaved in line with the boundaries of behaviour they glean from their principals. In the workplace people behave as well or as badly as the culture of that workplace allows them to. The so-called investigation will be a sham.”

Commenting on the video, health and social security systems specialist Alex van den Heever said, “Note how quickly they left the scene. If there was any legitimate purpose for this action, why did they not remain until the police arrive? Not only was the assault unlawful, but so was fleeing the scene. Surely?”

Meanwhile, SAPS has stated that the officers will be subject to ‘internal processes’. DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Derek Jones says:

    As Ian Cameron says this is the sickening tip of the iceberg. to to really puke though watch police spokesmans reaction on enca.

  • stan garrun Garrun says:

    These blue light bullies once tried to intimidate me in heavy evening traffic, telling me to pull over. So that the ANC despot in one of the cars could get home earlier for his favourite soapy on TV. I did not budge while they threatened and harassed me. Thankfully the road gave way & they passed me on the left hurling signs and insults. It was not looking like it would end well. Because I was going to stay put.
    These face stomping rubbish must be dispossessed of their toy blue lights and sentenced to be cuffed to lampposts along that highway for days on end (court to decide how long). Mr Mashatile for his callous cowardice should be given 16 years of community service sweeping up that very highway. The police should be made to pay for the injuries sustained by those citizens plus all costs and damages.

    • Karel Vlok says:

      Real threat is when the community starts reacting. There is 105 000 of them, some really goos cops too, and 60 million in the community. Six armed “cops” (they certainly do not desire the designation) beating up 2 youngsters. I’m afraid those politicians should start to reconsider surrounding themselves with these thugs, the community may not know the difference.

  • William Kelly says:

    Fire them all. Immediately. End of.

    • John Counihan says:

      That will be the test. Will anything happen in The Land of No Consequences? We MUST stay with this one and hound the cowardly ANC to act against these thugs. Mashatile himself should show some leadership and see to it that they are fired and prosecuted. Will he?

      • Derek Jones says:


      • Rene Kilner says:

        He is a vacuous trough feeder – not a leader. Ask the people from Alex……….

      • Charles Parr says:

        No, they’ll be sacrificed to take the heat off the cause of all of this, the DP. It was stated today that the perpetrators are military trainees so are perfectly expendable and the hat should have to explain in a very public forum how they ended up in a VIP protection unit as armed thugs. The perpetrators looked a bit old to be military trainees but the who knows what happens in this country.

      • jeanetteferreiravj says:

        I agree.

    • Gary van der Merwe says:

      Most people will get prison time for GBH. Only firing them would be letting them off lightly.

  • Glyn Morgan says:

    ANC thugs. They must be arrested and it should be made public, no “internal processes”.

  • Sarah ONeill says:

    Can you imagine the outcry if this had happened elsewhere in the world?

    • Mark K says:

      Some bigwig in China visited the city I lived in in 2012. They closed every road he travelled on for the entire afternoon, including the busiest road in the city. I had to walk a long and circuitous way home, but none of my Chinese colleagues even blinked at this.

      I think this is why the ANC admire China so.

      • Jane Crankshaw says:

        Sounds like Mugabe – he insisted all cars move and park so he could ride by in his cavalcade! What is it with these political despots!

  • Heinrich Holt says:

    The tone is set at the top. Whatever the scope of investigation, start with the guy wearing the hat.

  • Rene Kilner says:

    It is understood that the victims have been identified. it is further understood that the cause of this was that they ‘simply did not move out of the VIP protection units’ way fast enough. So, if Mashatile was not in the car, why were they in such a hurry – to go where, to do what? Why, it appears, did they force the victims off the road? Simply so they could just beat them up? And if it is true that Paul knew about this over the weekend and did nothing, he needs to tell us why. In my view, he then is no better than the thugs that’s there to supposedly protect him. They should all go. South Africa don’t need people who subscribe to violence as masquerading as leaders.

  • Anne Felgate says:

    The person who recorded that may have to go into hiding
    The new way of dealing with unpleasant truths
    Disgusting behaviour
    They say that a fish rots from the top Mashatile sets the tone for his staff

  • Johan Buys says:

    Beaten up and not arrested for whatever they allegedly did.

    after this and other recent revelations, South Africans should be wary of a Mashatile future.

    Those could have been any of us quietly going about our business.

  • Katharine Ambrose says:

    This was not an internal matter but fully public. It should be dealt with externally as well as internally or we will assume it’s another cover up

  • L Dennis says:

    Stop giving the current government credit. Nothing come of Zondo absolutely nothing will come of this. But it’s good that this was recorded. The only thing for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing

  • Jennifer Hughes says:

    Mashatile denounced the unnecessary use of force. What?! That is one of the most terrifying things I have seen! Seven men with enormous guns attacking three unarmed men who appeared to do nothing but try to protect their bodies from the blows! This is disgusting! These criminals who viciously attacked civilians, using power given to them by the ANC, must go to jail! There is nothing, nothing that could have made this behaviour in any way acceptable!

  • Peter Merrington says:

    We’d hoped that thuggery from politicians’ convoys was long over. Fascist behaviour is not wanted. Arrest for assault is required. There can’t be any excuse.

  • Bill Gild says:

    Give thuggish individuals weapons, blue lights and the highest-end SUV’s, and this what will happen.
    Only a taste of the savagery that exists in SA.

  • Schalk Burger says:

    This is disgusting and I have personally been harassed by this SAPS mob on the N1 in Johannesburg. Blue lights should be illegal. The ANC people think they are above us. They are not.

  • Trenton Carr says:

    No more moving out the way for blue lights, when I’m alone. The law is no help here, we have to fight this ourselves.

  • Deirdre Lubbe says:

    What happened to the men that were assaulted, the guy who was left unconscious? Are they Okay?

  • Iam Fedup says:

    And the sheep in the DA bleat pitifully. One young man – a simple green grocer named Mohammad Bouazizi – set himself alight in a small town in Tunisia, and started the Arab Spring. Time for action and outrage, no pt “probes,” and empty words. (Oh, I forgot: the citizens of our country are mostly self-serving cowards.)

  • Nicoleen Schuld says:

    If Mr Paul Mashatile was not present, why were the passengers in the car a threat and the assault necessary? None of the occupants need to lay a charge- the video is enough evidence that assault took place. If for example, a person is murdered, that person cannot lay a charge- does it mean no crime has taken place? The policemen involved will probably be reprimanded-if at all- and be back at work very soon.

  • Derek Jones says:

    What do you do when attacked by a bunch of clown? Go for the juggler.

  • rodhering says:

    Just another example of the the criminal behaviour of the terrorist organisation known as the ANC

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