Charges laid against police

Mustaqeem Priestly, 16, from Manenberg, was allegedly assaulted by police who accused him of breaking the lockdown regulations.

A Manenberg woman has pressed charges against the police, accusing them of storming her home, firing a shot that nearly hit her mother and assaulting her teenage son.

Zaida Priestly says officers accosted her 16-year-old son, Mustaqeem, as he watched TV in the lounge with his grandmother, Kamiela Priestly, on Tuesday April 14, at 8pm. They accused him of being on the road during lockdown.

According to Ms Priestly, her mother opened the door to check on a commotion in the yard and saw police chasing “youngsters”, one of whom lives in a wendy house on the Priestly’s property, who had gone to a nearby spaza shop.

“When my mother opened the door and saw all the police officers, she got such a fright, that she slammed the door closed, but the officers first shot into the door, nearly hitting my mother in the face. Then they forcefully made their way into the house and started beating my son,” Ms Priestly said.

Ms Priestly said she had spent most of the day, on Wednesday April 15, at the Heideveld hospital with her son who was left with a swollen face and a bruise. He also found it hard to use his left arm.

Ms Priestly said Mustaqeem suffered from chronic migraines after contracting meningitis a few years ago. The alleged assault had brought on more migraines and left him badly shaken, she said.

“My mother could not stop shivering, and I have arranged for my son to get ongoing counselling, as both of them are nervous wrecks,” Ms Priestly said. “Mustaqeem did not deserve to be assaulted like that. He didn’t do anything wrong. He didn’t break any rules or laws. He is just a child.

“The Anti-Gang Unit had no reason and no right to do what they have done. They threatened me to keep my mouth shut while they beat my son, using the most disgusting words – swearing at my mom and me. He is my son. It is my duty to protect him, but why do I need to protect him from the police? The people who are supposed to protect and serve?

“Justice will be served. I’ve opened a case against the monster police officer who assaulted my son, and the charges include assault, crimen injuria and malicious damage to property.”

Manenberg SAPS spokesman, Captain Ian Bennett, confirmed a case had been opened, and there was also an internal departmental investigation.

“The complainant will be kept informed on the progress of the case,” Captain Bennett said.