Action Society is demanding that the whole senior management of the VIP Protection unit of SAPS should be restructured and the necessity for their existence should be reevaluated completely. Thousands of South Africans have already supported Action Society’s Ban the #BlueLightMafia campaign with the hashtag even trending on Twitter.
There are 81 SAPS officers allocated per politician at great cost to taxpayers. That leaves 0,002 officers for every ordinary citizen. Apart from the criminal elements that surround these blue light brigades, they have become more of a social status symbol for politicians than anything else at great cost to taxpayers.
Action Society’s legal team lodged a formal complaint against the police officers involved in the #BlueLightMafia video this morning, under the provisions of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) Act, which mandates IPID to conduct independent and impartial investigations of specified criminality committed by members of SAPS. In the complaint, Action Society demands that charges of attempted murder, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, intimidation and pointing of a firearm should be investigated.
According to Ian Cameron, the Director of Community Safety at Action Society, despite the overwhelming evidence in the viral #BlueLightMafia video to confirm his statement, IPID filed only one charge of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm at the Sandton police station after conducting an interview with Mr L’vaughn Fisher, the driver who was dragged out of the blue Volkswagen Polo.
“He was hit over the head with an assault rifle and then repeatedly kicked in the head while already unconscious from the first rifle blows. After we spoke about his physical injuries, I asked how he was emotionally. He went silent and after a long pause he said: I am not okay.”
“We have a copy of Mr Fisher’s statement and after reading it, it is unimaginable that only one charge was laid.”
“They feared for their lives. One of the black BMW X5’s drove up to Mr Fisher’s side and an assault rifle was pointed at him. At that moment, Mr Fisher was convinced that they were going to be hijacked and continued driving in hopes of escaping. He had no reason to suspect that the passengers in the BMW’s were law enforcement as none of the BMW’s had their blue lights flashing or sirens on to identify them as police. When the second BMW pulled in front of their vehicle, they were forced to the side of the highway and had to stop. The armed men’s attempts to break through the front window failed, but they succeeded to break through the back window using a rifle and then opened the driver’s side door. At that stage they hit Mr Fisher in the head with a firearm and continued to drag him out of the vehicle at which time Mr. Fisher lost consciousness.”
Action Society obtained an official mandate from Mr Fisher to assist him with criminal and possible civil charges against the officers, the relevant commanders and even the Police minister.
“IPID has proven over and over that they have no teeth. Of the more than 42 000 cases opened against the SAPS with IPID between 2012 and 2019, only 1% resulted in conviction and 4% in disciplinary action. So 95% of the time, police brutality offenders experienced no sanction for alleged misconduct. Until IPID is fully independent and constitutionally enshrined as a Chapter 9 institution, citizens will have to demand justice against police brutality themselves.”
“Furthermore, the SAPS’ handling of this incident is disgraceful. As law enforcers, they should have arrested these criminals immediately. At the very least terminate their service with immediate effect. Instead, some of the members were simply notified of SAPS’s intent to possibly suspend them should they be unable to provide sufficient reasons not to be suspended.”
Fisher had to receive further medical attention today. He still has pain and is finding it difficult to open his swollen jaw. He has various bruises where he was kicked on his head and in his face.
“We will assist Mr Fisher in the coming days and weeks to ensure that the criminals who attacked him and his colleagues, are brought to justice. The Action Society Law Clinic has already started with consultations in this regard.”