AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit under the leadership of Adv. Gerrie Nel is representing residents of Ballito who fell victim to the unfair and arbitrary actions of municipal peace officers of the KwaDukuza Municipality. AfriForum has already requested the municipality’s investigation report (which found that the peace officers had done nothing wrong) in May, but the municipality is still refusing to provide it.
Imagery on social media earlier show two officers manhandling a four-year-old child against the wishes of his dad. According to AfriForum’s clients who were part of the incident, the municipality never obtained their versions of the incident for the internal investigation.
The municipality also failed in its reply to AfriForum’s enquiry about the failure of the peace officers to wear masks and to maintain a reasonable social distance in the execution of their responsibilities.
AfriForum’s request was very clear – we did not expect the municipality to do an investigation, but simply to provide the information on which basis the municipality put the residents on trial and found them guilty in the public domain.
It remains an unanswered question whether the municipal officials had the power to arrest 11 people within the framework and prescriptions of the Criminal Procedure Act, as the Municipality’s own media statement states that the peace officers arrived at the Shaka’s Rock tide pool and observed people who were at the beach.
According to Natasha Venter, AfriForum’s spokesperson in this matter, the municipality can simply not rely on its argument that the incident is sub judice, which bars them from making any information available. “The question of whether criminal charges were submitted against the residents has no influence on the investigation into the peace officers’ alleged unfair and arbitrary actions.”
“AfriForum does not act here on behalf of hardened criminals, but on behalf of ordinary taxpayers who were confronted with irrational decisions and law enforcers who acted outside their legal mandate. We will continue our pressure on the municipality to ensure that we obtain the necessary information to finalise our investigation and bring the responsible parties to book for their actions,” Venter concludes.