Angry churchgoers attacked and disarmed a Metro police officer in Hillbrow on Sunday (12 November).
This after the officer and a driver impounded an illegally parked car, said to belong to a member of the church.
The video shows the officer firing a warning shot. Not deterred by the gunshot, the large group continued to approach him, disarm and assault him, leaving him unconscious.
Crime activist, Yusuf Abramjee, shared the video on Twitter:
— Yusuf Abramjee (@Abramjee) November 12, 2017
The Gauteng Community Safety depatrment replied to Abramjee’s tweet, saying, “It’s time we reclaim our streets and deal with culprits.We are the authorities.”
Metro police spokesperson, Wayne Minnaar said they are entirely against the attack which left the officer hospitalised.
He said the officer was discharged from hospital later that night. Minnaar said the firearm was taken to their nearest police station and a woman, apparently a church member, was later arrested by Metro police. There is still a possibility of further arrests, he said.
“The officers were simply trying to do their jobs.”
The City of Johannesburg’s MMC for Public Safety, Michael Sun tweeted, “We will track the culprits and bring them down to face the full might of the law.”
Abramjee also shared a statement by the Sophiatown Neighbourhood Watch, which strongly condemned the attack.
“This attack is cowardly and the perpetrators must be brought to book as a matter of urgency. We as law-abiding citizens stand with our law-enforcement agencies and support them,” the statement read.
— Michael Sun (@MichaelSun168) November 12, 2017
The neighbourhood watch said the church should identify the attackers and come forward with the information so that they can be charged.
“We cannot allow lawlessness and disrespect against law-enforcement officers.”