South Africa

Delft couple allegedly assaulted by police

Cape Town - A 44-year-old Delft woman said she was subjected to police brutality after she was arrested on “bogus” accusations on Sunday.

Merle Crouster said her husband sustained a bruised toe while she suffered a broken collarbone and elbow and was denied medical treatment for 36 hours while in police custody.

This comes after a controversial video surfaced of police officers assaulting two men in Worcester.

Crouster said some neighbours called the police accusing her of assault and intimidation on Sunday. The officers arrived and started asking questions about their television and music system and whether they were selling drugs.

“There were four officers then and I didn’t know anything about these false accusations. We asked them to leave as we had papers to prove ownership of our possessions. They left, only to return a short while later, but this time with much more aggressiveness,” she said.

Crouster said that at the police station they were subjected to more assaults.

“I was thrown into a corner, and the four officers who escorted me started beating me repeatedly, taking turns to kick and stomp. All I could do was raise my cuffed hands to protect my face. A few minutes later, they arrived with my husband and two of the officers dropped me and started beating him with batons on his legs and body.

“Periodically, they would try to force our heads up so they could pepper spray us directly into our eyes, but they failed and settled for throwing us with cold water and stomping and kicking us some more,” she said.

"A few minutes later, they arrived with my husband and two of the officers dropped me and started beating him with batons on his legs and body.“

Crouster said she only received medical attention on Tuesday, a day before she was sent to court. However, she was dismissed without entering the court and her name was not on the court list.

“We want to lay a charge of police brutality, but are wary of being dismissed. My mother is terrified, she and my sister were also threatened with imprisonment. We have lost my elder sister in almost identical circumstances 16 years ago, after she was beaten and dragged off to Delft police station only to be as dead as a doornail only an hour later. My family is terrified of this happening to me too,” she said.

The police were approached for comment but had not responded by time of publishing.

Cape Argus

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