EXCLUSIVE: Shocking police attack on unarmed woman

South Africa
The off-duty police officer who was caught on camera assaulting a defenceless woman has been suspended for 60 days without pay while the Independent Police Investigative Directorate looks into the matter.

The IPID is investigating yet another case of police brutality.

This comes after eNCA.com exclusively revealed shocking CCTV footage, that shows a woman being assaulted by a police officer in full view of two of his colleagues.

The incident took place on April 5 this year at a Caltex garage in Smithfield in the Free State after 9pm.

Warrant Officer Ernest Maratshane, who is stationed at Smithfield SAPS can be seen hitting the woman and later kicking her in the head. He is not in police uniform.

After Maratshane begins assaulting the woman, the two policemen pull him away but do not restrain or arrest him. They move him away from the woman but Maratshane is still able to walk back to her and kick her when she falls to the ground. The two police officers do not offer any assistance to the woman.

Enca.com, spoke to the victim, who did not want to be named and has not laid a formal charge at the police station.

She would not give reasons for not persuing criminal charges except to say, “I knew him very well… its personal.”

It is understood that the woman owed Maratshane money and in the footage is seen handing him, what looks to be, a wad of cash.

Willie van Zyl, who runs a security company in the area was alerted to the existence of the footage by the owner of the shop which is situated in the garage. Van Zyl provided eNCA.com with a copy of the three-minute video.

Van Zyl explains: “The owner said her staff alerted her to it and we watched the video together."

The owner of the shop who did not want to be named said: “He is a regular here and I have also seen the other two officers before, but I don’t know who they are.”

She told eNCA.com that she knows Maratshane very well as he comes in every morning in his full police uniform to buy his newspaper.

She described him as being “aggressive and vindictive”.

She added: “My staff are afraid of him."

Maratshane, when asked about the details of the attack said: “I don’t want to talk to you about this, leave me alone.”

Without being told how eNCA came to be in possession of the video, Maratshane, who insisted on talking in Afrikaans, said: “Tell Mr Van Zyl he must call me. I am going to phone my lawyer in the morning to call him (Van Zyl).”

He denied knowing the woman and kept repeating: “I don’t want to talk to you.”

Maratshane then became aggressive and said: “Ek gaan julle aankla ” (I’m going to lay a charge against you).

eNCA.com has also established that a member of the Smithfield SAPS viewed the footage at the shop the following day.

eNCA called the Smithfield SAPS and were told that Maratshane is stationed there as a Warrant Officer.

Colonel Hein Stapelberg, cluster commander for Smithfield, confirmed the existence of the video but said he has not seen it.

When asked if he was aware that Maratshane was involved, Stapelberg responded: “Ja, that’s common knowledge to me, that’s not a secret. I know he’s a suspect.”

Speaking of the victim, Stapelberg said: “According to my knowledge, she went to the Smithfield police station. That information was brought to the station commander.”

He added: “If there are officers witnessing the assault then they must be charged and that will be investigated.”

Stapelberg who has been away on police matters, said he intends to speak to a prosecutor but is of the opinion that the victim will not take the matter further.

“I want to see if we can go ahead without her statement,” Stapelberg.

News of the video's existence broke as Gauteng Police commissioner Mzwandile Petros called for dedicated police officers, who are motivated by a sense of duty.

Petros was speaking at a seminar in Pretoria on police brutality.

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