JOHANNESBURG, November 12 – A Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) officer has been hospitalised after he and a colleague were attacked and disarmed by churchgoers while enforcing the city’s traffic by-laws outside a Hillbrow church on Sunday.
Jozi is full of thugs who want to take the law in their own hands. Someone stop them please. pic.twitter.com/TQNUMLSLKV
— Man’s Not Barry Roux (@AdvBarryRoux) November 12, 2017
— Yusuf Abramjee (@Abramjee) November 13, 2017
The city’s public safety department said in a statement it strongly condemned the attack on a JMPD officer and the driver of a JMPD tow truck shortly before midday on Sunday.
“The attack took place when the two officials hooked up an illegally parked car which belongs to a member of a church on Claim Street, Hillbrow as it was causing traffic congestion.
“From interim investigations, it is believed that the JMPD officer drew his firearm and fired into the air to stop the rioting congregants from advancing toward them, but the crowd did not heed the warning but proceeded to attack the officer.
“The mob overpowered and disarmed the officer, who was beaten and left unconscious and had to be rushed to Milpark Hospital,” the department said.
“The assailants went to hand in the firearm at Johannesburg Central police station. Upon arrival at the station, one member of the congregation was detained by the SAPS [South African Police Service] for illegally being in possession of a JMPD firearm,” it said.
Mayoral committee member for public safety Michael Sun also strongly condemned the mob attack on the metro police when officers were doing their job and enforcing the city’s by-laws.
“We will not allow this attack on our metro police to go unprosecuted; the culprits will have to face the full might of the law. This incident will be investigated and the culprits will be brought down to face prosecution. The department wishes the officer, who is still being treated in hospital, a speedy recovery,” Sun said.