One person has been arrested by the South African police after allegedly being involved in an attack on a Metro police officer in Hillbrow on 12 November.
The officer, Siphiwe Sebati, had to be hospitalised after a mob of churchgoers disarmed and assaulted him. Sebati and another officer attempted to confiscate an illegally parked car outside the church when congregants decided to attack them – and not even a warning shot deterred them.
A video recording of the incident went viral on social media, prompting authorities to condemn the attack. Sebati has since been discharged from hospital.
— Yusuf Abramjee (@Abramjee) November 12, 2017
Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba said the officers were carrying out their lawful duties, serving the public, since the vehicle was causing traffic congestion. He called it not only an attack on the Metro police or Sebati, but an attack on the rule of law within the city.
“According to the Saps, the suspect is reported to be an undocumented immigrant. He is expected to appear in court within the next 48 hours,” the mayor said. “Where visitors to our city are involved in criminal activity, they must be arrested and timeously processed by Home Affairs. I hope that our law enforcement authorities will prosecute this matter using the full might of the law.”
The mayor said he hopes that others who took part in this attack will also be arrested soon.
According to Metro police spokesperson, Wayne Minnaar, a woman was also arrested shortly after the attack.
The involved church, which has since been named as The Revelation Church of God in Hillbrow, responded to the incident on their Facebook page.
The post, titled ‘Religious attack’, garnered hundreds of reponses.
The post read, “Instead of police helping to remove squatters from our land, they choose to attack church members with shootings & paper sprays (sic).”