Allegations of assault by police rock Makwassie
A young North West man claims that an almost hour-long assault by police has left him with serious permanent injuries
A case of assault against police is being investigated after a North West man was allegedly beaten up by police for up to an hour when they brought him in for questioning in connection with a robbery.
The man, Itumeleng Ranko, 24, of Lebaleng, had to be hospitalised after the alleged “severe beating” by police officers at the Makwassie Police Station in North West.
He suffered partial hearing loss and has been unable to walk unaided since the alleged incident. Ranko also claimed that he was again assaulted in front of his mother at their home when police took him there after they allegedly beat him up at the police station. He was then allegedly “dumped” at the hospital by the police, he claimed.
Officers at the police station have denied the assault but Superintendent Kgoshe Molepe from the police station said he would ensure the matter was investigated. Up to this point, Ranko and his family claimed they had been prevented from lodging a case against the police.
Recalling the alleged incident, Ranko said he was sweeping the floors at home when police arrived to question him in connection with a robbery at a nearby garage. “They said they wanted to take me in for questioning and I complied as I had nothing to hide,” said Ranko.
Little did he know that a few hours later he would be writhing in pain at the Nic Bodenstein Hospital in Wolmaransstad.
“The police who beat me up were wearing plain clothes so I could not identify who they were, they had no names on their clothes.
“I had agreed to go with them to the police station because I had nothing to hide, I did not know about the robbery. But the minute I got to the police station they started accusing me of the robbery,” Ranko claimed, saying the policemen allegedly handcuffed him and held him inside the charge office, demanding to know who his accomplices were.
“I told them I knew nothing. But they started beating me. The whole incident lasted for more than 45 minutes, but others did not intervene,” alleged Ranko.
“I was locked in an office and started to scream from pain. I thought the police officers outside would come to my rescue, but no one came,” he told OurHealth.
Ranko claims that an hour later police took him to his house and they demanded that he show them where he had hidden the money.
“I was too weak to talk and they went ahead and beat me in front of my mother, who pleaded with them to stop. They then put me back in the police van and dumped me at the hospital and left me there.”
Ranko’s family said that they tried to open an assault case against the officers at the police station, but they were barred from doing so.
When questioned by OurHealth Superintendent Kgoshe Molepe said that he did not know about the incident but said that it would be investigated. Ranko’s brother, Tisetso Ranko, 43, said he was very happy to hear this. “We nearly lost my younger brother. It has to be investigated.”
Ranko said he prays to God that he will heal and that justice will be served.