Mpumalanga police have confirmed that they were aware of a video showing people assaulting a motorist at a filling station, and that the perpetrators were arrested and released on warning. In the video, people can be seen beating a man who is lying on the ground – kicking and punching him – while their others friends look on.
When other people try to intervene, the attackers’ friend stops and shout at them. At some point, the man tries to get up but he is severely kicked. Once he manages to be on his feet, his attackers accost him again and resume beating him up. Mpumalanga police spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said the incident happened last week.
He said the 27-year-old victim went to the police and reported that Sonia van Meyeren, one of the suspects, had bumped into his car while reversing her vehicle. When he confronted her, he said, an argument had ensued between them.
“The suspect is said to have made a phone call and moments later, four men arrived at the scene and severely assaulted the victim. The victim then swiflty reported the matter to the police and a case was opened,” he said.
Hlathi said Dean Venter, 29, Frank van Meyeren, 36, Jonathan Vermuelen, 41, Sonia van Meyeren, 47, and Johannes Vermeulen, 50, were arrested and charged with assault with an intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
“The suspects made their first appearance at the Secunda Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, June 30 and were released on warning. They will appear at the same court on July 27.”
Provincial police commissioner, Lieutenant-General Semakaleng Manamela has since called on the public to be tolerant of each other and avoid using violence to resolve differences.
Manamela condemned the incident and urged the community to resolve matters amicably or alternatively request police to intervene.
“We will not tolerate such conduct which threatens the lives of others. There are other ways in which issues can be resolved peacefully,” Manamela said.