Rogues in South African Police
We are very surprised by the behaviour of South African Police – specifically police in the Johannesburg suburb of Midrand – when they arrested businessman Francis Gakwerere and charged him with the attempted murder of fugitive general Kayumba Nyamwasa.
We are very surprised by the behaviour of South African Police – specifically police in the Johannesburg suburb of Midrand – when they arrested businessman Francis Gakwerere (arrest.doc) and charged him with the attempted murder of fugitive general Kayumba Nyamwasa.
Any civilised person ought to be shocked by policemen who behave no better than bandits.
As Gakwerere details it elsewhere in this newspaper, he was arrested at the guest house where he was staying, physically abused, his property stolen and he spent three nights in jail as well as several hours of gruelling interrogation.
All because, someone told him, they assumed he had a hand in the shooting of Kayumba Nyamwasa in Johannesburg.
The question that immediately comes up after listening to Gakwerere’s story is whether the policemen who arrested him were acting within the bounds of professional ethics.
There is the disturbing detail for example that at one police facility where they took Gakwerere (and five other suspects) for questioning one of the people in the interrogation room was one Frank Ntwali, a brother in law of Kayumba Nyamwasa.
What was this man doing sitting in on the interrogation of a suspect of the shooting incident?
Gakwerere was so concerned he refused to talk in the presence of this man. Why wasn’t it obvious to police that Ntwali’s presence in these proceedings posed a gross conflict of interest situation? Or was it obvious enough but that due to some interests some rogue policemen actually wanted Ntwali in the room?
Let’s also consider the fact that after a court declared Gakwerere innocent and that he could go home a few obviously crooked policemen chose to surreptitiously throw him back into a police cell. Was that also at the behest of Ntwali and any other people that might be working with him? We cannot know. What we know is that there is something very stinky about the whole affair.
When Gakwerere finally was lucky to be released and made his way back to the guest house the first people he stumbled upon were one of the policemen who arrested him together with none other than Ntwali. Both these men were conducting what appeared to be an illegal interrogation of the manager of the guest house; illegal because a court had declared Gakwerere innocent and there wasn’t a reason for anyone, police or not, to be questioning people in connection with his stay at the guest house.
To be accused of attempted murder is a very serious issue. To discover the possibility that rogue representatives of the law are working counter to that very law so as to railroad people at the behest of self-interested parties is very alarming.
We can only hope decent people in South African Police (and there are a number of those as Gakwerere’s narrative indicates) will prevail over the rogues.
Also we encourage Mr. Gakwerere in his endeavour to seek justice as he has indicated he will. What happened to him at the hands of police in South Africa was a gross violation not only of the law but of human decency.
He deserves, and should get justice.