WC Police Ombud probes Anti-Gang Unit for police brutality, unethical conduct

The unit was launched in November 2018 to deal with gangsterism in Cape Town.

FILE: Members of the SA Police Service’s Anti-Gang Unit are seen in Hanover Park, Cape Town, during the launch of the specialised unit on 2 November 2018. Picture: @SAgovnews/Twitter

CAPE TOWN – The Western Cape Police Ombudsman is investigating the Anti-Gang Unit (AGU) for police brutality and other heavy-handed unethical conduct in the province.

The unit was launched in November 2018 to deal with gangsterism in Cape Town.

However, MEC for Community Safety Albert Fritz received numerous complaints from the public and reached out to Western Cape Police Ombudsman Johan Brand.

Brand said they have not only received complaints from Fritz, but also from the various communities in parts of the Cape Metropol.

“It’s been alleged that some of the members are abusing their powers, they don’t treat the people and the communities with the necessary respect and dignity, wrong houses are searched and the houses where they elderly stay, their houses are turned upside down and their properties damaged.”

He added that it was not the senior members of the unit, but those who work on the ground.

“This is normally the soldiers that are working in the areas and that normally execute the searches or the arrests. In terms of the Constitution, there is also an obligation from managers to ensure that members abide by the Constitution and the law.”

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