Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
A Zimbabwean cross-border bus driver was on Thursday last week allegedly brutally assaulted by South African traffic police in the Hammanskraal area after refusing to pay R2000 after being accused of committing a road traffic offence along the N1 highway.
Mr Raison Mufuka, an employee of Devine Star buses was handcuffed on the bus’ trailer and allegedly assaulted by three police officers.
After which, he was also detained along with four crew members at Themba Police Station in the same area.
The five were later released from police custody after the prosecution in that area refused to prosecute them for lack of evidence.
The assault incident was captured on video by other motorists and has already gone viral on social media.
Mr Mufuka said he got some injuries on his mouth, both hands and was experiencing chest pains as a result of the beating.
“We were travelling towards Johannesburg when we were intercepted by traffic police soon after the Hammanskraal toll gate, just before Pretoria along the N1 highway at around 8am on August 26,” he said.
“The bus had only five people including myself and other crew members. The police officers detained us for four hours at the road block.
“They accused me of violating traffic rules and demanded a bribe of R2000, which I told them I did not have. The three police officers then threatened to impound the bus,” said Mr Mufuka.
He said the police officers ordered him to drive to the police station, but along the way they disappeared and he stopped along the road as he was not sure of the directions.
He said they returned and handcuffed him between the trailer and the bus and took turns to assault him.
The distraught driver said the bus crew was later taken to Themba Police Station where they were detained for four days before being taken to court.
“At the police station, they falsely claimed that I had assaulted one of them and that I was carrying border jumpers while failing to comply with traffic regulations. The court decline to prosecute and we were released.”
He said he was not aware that the whole incident was being recorded by other motorists who shared it on social media.
“I am currently nursing the injuries and the assault on me was unwarranted. As a result, I cannot go to work,” he said.
Zimbabwe’s Consul General to Johannesburg, Mrs Melody Chaurura said they were still following up on the matter with relevant authorities to establish the facts.
“It will only be possible for us to comment after consultations with the relevant authorities,” she said.
Gauteng police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Mavela Masondo was not readily available to comment on the matter.