Police threaten, assault Symphony Way residents and two Americans, arrest one

10 12 2008

Delft Anti-Eviction Campaign Press Statement
Wednesday 10 December, 2008

Earlier today at around 17h15, police officer De Vos of the Delft police station along with 4 other officers entered Symphony Way and began verbally swearing at and abusing residents. The majority of residents were in a workshop led by an American from a children’s NGO. When Jane Roberts came outside the office where the workshop was taking place, De Vos immediately began threatening Auntie Jane with arrest. He told her quote: “I am going to moor you” and “I will lock you up” and a number of other words inappropriate to publish. He was clearly picking on Aunty Jane because of past instances in which she has opposed his abuse of the community.

Two Americans were also present. The one is the Executive Director of a children’s NGO and the other an American journalist. When they both began documenting the abuse on their cameras and phone, police immediately began threatening to confiscate their cameras and arrest them. A woman police officer then came and slapped the one American and threw his camera to the ground. Police left at around 18h00 once other police officers arrived at the scene.

Then, at 20h00, De Vos came back with his crew and arrested resident Roger Wicks who had nothing to do with the previous incident. He has now been charged with swearing at police and malicious damage to property.

Tomorrow, residents, along with the two Americans, will attempt to lay a charge at the Delft police station against De Vos and the other four police officers on duty.

This is not the first incident of police abuse. There have been over 10 incidents since February 2008 including on 30 October 2008 and 4 October 2008 and 29 June, 2008 and 25 February 2008.

There was also the many instances of brutality during the 19th of February evictions. Documentation includes: (a) Star article: Delft refuse, resist eviction, (b) video by a bystander, (c) video by eTV and (d) photos

For more information, contact Ashraf 076 186 1408 and Auntie Jane 078 403 1302
For statements from the two Americans, contact Matt at 071 422 3515 and Jay at 076 512 5677

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