An Ekurhuleni metro police officer is being investigated after he slapped a cellphone out of a motorist’s hand on the Edenvale on-ramp, on the East Rand, on Wednesday proving that no one is above the law.
A case of theft, common assault and damage to property has been opened against an Ekurhuleni traffic official whose violent encounter with a motorist was caught on camera.
The incident occurred on an off-ramp in Edenvale on Wednesday morning but with the help of social media had become a trending topic in South Africa hours later.
Diederick Stopforth said he was driving with his girlfriend on the R24 when they spotted a truck that was obstructing traffic.
“I drove around the truck and I was pulled to the side by two traffic officers. One of the officers came to my car. He checked our vehicle and realised that everything was in order.:
“He was asking why I drove around the truck as he leaned inside my car.
“He saw that my girlfriend was recording his actions with her cellphone then he took my driver’s licence, saying he will teach us a lesson,” said Stopforth.
Stopforth followed the officer, demanding his licence. He was also recording the officers with his phone.
His video shows a uniformed traffic police officer who was not wearing a name tag. The officer looks into the camera as Stopforth asks for his driver’s licence, then smacks it out of his hands.
“He continued to insult me and threw my girlfriend’s phone to the ground, before handing me back my licence,” said Stopforth.
— Diederick Stopforth (@DWStopforth) March 15, 2017
The matter has been reported at the Edenvale police station. According to Stopforth, they had opened cases of common assault, two cases of damage to property and one case of theft at the Edenvale police station.
Edenvale station commander Colonel Malesela Mapulane confirmed that a case has been opened, saying “the docket still new, it will be allocated to an officer for investigation”.
No arrests have been made yet.
EMPD spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Wilfred Kgasago said he had seen the video of the incident. Kgasago said the department will take statements from both the officer and the motorist.
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