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The Provincial Commissioner is appealing for community to cooperate with the police


Media Statement
South African Police Service
Office of the Provincial Commissioner Free State

FREE STATE - The Provincial Commissioner took note of a video which was all over social media where two police officials were seen trying to arrest a suspect who was resisting, after he was warned several times to wear a mask. The Provincial Commissioner has instructed that the matter must be thoroughly investigated so as to get to the bottom of what really transpired from both sides.

Thus far the preliminary investigation has revealed that the two police officials, the Warrant Officer and a Captain were patrolling the streets of St Helena in Welkom when they saw a person not wearing a mask, they called the person and warned him to wear the mask, and he started insulting them.

As required by the law they had to arrest him for refusing to wear the mask after he was warned. Unfortunately while they were executing the arrest there was a scuffle while other bystanders also tried to prohibit the police from arresting the suspect. It is during this scuffle the masks of these police officials fell down. After managing to get the two suspects into the car, one member of the community seen on the video kicked the door of the vehicle which injured the warrant officer’s arm.

Seeing that the community is starting to be violent, the members withdrew with intention to reinforce.

But as they already knew the suspect they opened cases of Assault Common, Resisting arrest and failure to wear a mask, as well as Interfering or obstructing the police official while performing his or her duties and Crimean Injuria.

Welkom detectives are investigating these cases and no one has been arrested yet. One of the suspects also opened a case of Assault against the police at Welkom police station, and it will be investigated by IPID.

“We appeal to our communities that they must allow the law to take its cause.” Said the Provincial Commissioner. “The fact that the two members involved are white must not make us to jump into conclusions, until we get the truth on what really prevailed through both our investigation and that of IPID. It’s so unfortunate that the video only shows the part where the police were restraining the suspect and not what transpired from the beginning. “So concluded the Provincial Commissioner, Lt Gen Baile Motswenyane.


Brigadier Motantsi Makhele
082 466 7396