The victim of an alleged mob justice attack in Delft has been found, the City of Cape Town said on Thursday.
“The City of Cape Town… has tracked down the victim of an assault captured on video, which also featured three law enforcement officers,” the city’s executive director for safety and security, Richard Bosman said in a statement.
“The video was brought to our attention by the New Age newspaper, amid allegations that the three officers did not come to the man’s defence.”
Earlier this week, the New Age newspaper published still images of CCTV footage showing the man, who was accused of theft, being sjambokked by a woman. In another image, police officers, one of them eating a banana, stand by and watch.
The victim was reportedly stoned, beaten, and hit on the head. The woman allegedly used pliers to rip off two of his fingernails.
A community leader told The New Age the man was holding on to a police van begging the officers for help, but they ignored him.
The paper reported the man died an hour after the attack.
The city had since suspended three of its law enforcement officers pending an investigation into the incident.
Earlier on Thursday, Western Cape police said the victim had not succumbed to his injuries.
“This office has no record of a fatality in this regard, and also no record that the victim reported a case,” Lt-Col Andre Traut said.
“We are still investigating the circumstances surrounding the matter, and this process is yet to be finalised.”
The city said it hoped to now piece together the rest of the events.
“I do, however, need to register my concern about the accuracy of the information that was initially presented to the city and the subsequent coverage, stating that the victim had died,” Bosman said.
“This in no way changes our views on the incident and the allegations around the conduct of our staff, but it does pose serious questions about the credibility of the publication that broke the story as well as others that repeated this misinformation in their reportage, and we will seek advice from the press ombudsman in this regard.” SAPA