MDC chairman assaulted by SAPS-(22-02-07)

PRETORIA - Lovemore Chikandiwa, the current MDC Pretoria district chairman, was assaulted by members of the SAPS on Thursday last week, despite holding a valid section 22 asylum seeker permit. "They said my permit dos not work as there is no war in Zimbabwe. They shoved me violently into the police

vehicle, as if I was resisting. I tried to talk politely to them, but they became verbally abusive and handcuffed me to an illegal immigrant sitting next to me,” he told The Zimbabwean.
“One of them assaulted me with his open palm, telling me to go Mugabe about my rights. I told him I didn’t expect such treatment from a senior police officer like him, as I thought the police was there to protect us from abusers. He replied that he does not protect Zimbabweans because we don’t have tax numbers and so don’t contribute any revenue to his pay master the government.”
Chikandiwa was taken to the cells and locked up without any food.
Every police officer to whom he tried to show his paper seemed ignore him, while some promised tear it up. At around 11:00hrs on Friday he was taken to Lindela with six illegal immigrants.
“On arrival the immigration officers asked if there was anyone holding any documents. I produced my permit and the officers who brought me there were told to take me back as I was not an illegal immigrant. On discovering that the officers did not pass through Marabastad home affairs, as the prisoners were from Pretoria, the whole truck was referred back to Marabastad. But instead of taking us to Marabastad, they took us back to Werdabrug police station were we were locked up again, promising to take us to Marabastad on Monday. I had to plead again for my release which I was finally given at 16:00hrs.”
Chikandiwa called on the minister of home affairs to look into the abuse of Zimbabweans by police officers. “I would particularly like to know if it is correct that SAPS does not protect Zimbabweans who live in RSA, whether documented or undocumented,” he said.

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