Six Boer cops sue SAPS over illegal arrests

Six white Free State cops and the leader of the local Commando were deliberately locked up with the Dogs of War crime-gang in the Bethlehem police-jail…

2011-02-09 Sergeant Cobus Meyer of the Frankfort police was arrested in front of his family by his own brother – who’d been sent to arrest him by SAPF-superintendent R K Mokoena on a trumped-up murder charge which was dropped within 5 days. Meyer, five Afrikaner colleagues at the Frankfort police station and the leader of the local civilian-Commando were all arrested on April 4 2002, locked up deliberately with the Dogs of War crime-gang controlling the cells, and brutalised there for five days.

This was the testimony by ex-sergeant Cobus Meyer, testifying in the criminal-damages law suit against the police-minister. It was lodged by seven falsely-arrested Afrikaners in the Free State High Court yesterday. “It was like a kick in the face when my own brother was sent to arrest me in front of our aging parents, my wife, and my little girl. My daughter started crying and weeping and I had to lie to calm her down, telling her that I was just going to work overtime. Then she saw me climb into the back of the police van…”

The entire Afrikaner staff at the Frankfort police station was arrested on April 4 2002 under a trumped-up murder charge after a black man was found murdered – and the charge was dropped five days later. Also arrested was the leader of the local citizen-Commando, Johann de Beer. The excuse under which the five Afrikaners were arrested was that Pikanini Mzolo, 60, was found murdered on 27 March 2002 near the Wilgerivier in Frankfort. The white police-officers were arrested, and suspended from duty without pay. The charges were dropped within a week due to a lack of proof – but throughout that harrowing time in the Bethlehem police-cells, these white cops were made to suffer at the hands of the Dogs of War crime-gang which control these cells, testified ex-Sergeant Cobus Meyer.

Arrested illegally were Cobus Meyer, Capt. Arnold Meyburg (39), det.-capt. Nico van Zijl, det-insp. Albie Hills, Frankfort police commander supt. Stoney Steenbergen, insp. Rias Cillier and  the (late) leader of the local citizen-Commando, Johann de Beer. His estate is a co-claimant in the case against the police minister in the Free State High Court, with acting-judge Peter Fischer residing.

Example of what these six cops and the Commando-leader came up against – for five days:

After their five-day ordeal in the Bethlehem police-lockup, the Afrikaner officers  and the Commando-leader were released on bail on 9 April, the ‘murder-charge’ was dropped due to ‘a lack of evidence’, their suspensions were raised and the cops continued working at the Frankfort police station without any further promotions until they were all summarily fired in 2005.

Meyburgh and Meyer both became very emotional while testifying, Volksblad noted. Meyer testified that ‘not in his wildest dreams’ could he ever have imagined the cruelty of his own brother being sent to arrest him at a family-braai, with their elderly parents, family friends and his little daughter present. “I was crushed. It was like a kick in the face.’  He testified that the Bethlehem police-station superintendent RK Mokoena initially had telephoned his brother and had told him that his brother Cobus  was ‘suspected of the murder’. However even after Cobus had told his brother that he wasn’t anywhere near that crime scene, Mokoena willfully sent his own brother to arrest the Afrikaner cop. Then he and the four other arrested Afrikaners were taken to the police lockup in Bethlehem – which were controlled by the infamous Dogs of War crime gang.

About 100 SA cops a year gunned down by crime-gangs:

“That gang hates policemen.. and they were told I was a cop”

Meyer testified yesterday: “That gang hates policemen. And the policeman who booked me into the cells, told the gang members that I was a cop.’ He testified that he was forced to kneel in front of the Dogs of War gang-leader and that he had to promise to give him money and cigarettes just to survive. “I was scared. I felt I was already dead.’ That Saturday-night, each of his colleagues also was taken to the cell of the ‘leader-group’ of the Dogs of War gang, and each one of these Afrikaner police-officers was beaten brutally, and, as Meyer testified,  ‘walked with difficulty when they were returned to their own cells.’

Meyer said their ordeal lasted until they were released on bail on 9 April – and then the charges were summarily dropped and his suspension lifted until 2005 – when the entire group was fired. He is still unable to get over the brutal arrest which was carried out in front of his wife and parents. He has attempted suicide three times since his ordeal:  “I have also become deeply disappointed in the SA police force which has no regard for human rights whatsoever,’ he testified. The hearing continues.

Advocate MP van der Merwe of Pretoria is representing the complainants with the law firm Nico van der Watt against the SA Police Minister and Advocate Viewe Notshe SC of Johannesburg represents the police minister.  http://www.volksblad.com/Suid-Afrika/Nuus/Oudpolisielid-verneder-en-saam-met-bende-opgesluit-20110209

About Adriana Stuijt
Retired South African-Dutch journalist formerly Sunday Times Johannesburg

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