A video of a boy, 18, in a Portland High School uniform, being arrested by three traffic officers, went viral last week.
The boy’s mother, who filmed the arrest, can be heard shouting at them to let her son go and to stop choking her son. The boy is also heard shouting at the officers.
Online, there has been mixed reaction to the video, with some criticising the way the boy was treated, and others describing the boy’s reaction as vulgar.
The incident happened on Wednesday September 9, at 7:30am and involved two female traffic officers who were busy with shoulder enforcement at AZ Berman Drive and Bottlebrush Road, ensuring that no motorists were driving on the shoulder of the road.
This was illegal and motorists caught doing so are fined, said Richard Bosman, executive director for safety and security for the City of Cape Town.
When the traffic officers stopped the boy and his mother, the boy, who was driving, was asked for his driver’s licence, but could not produce one. He was also not able to produce a learner’s licence.
While a learner driver is allowed to drive a vehicle if a licensed driver is present, the learner must have his learner’s licence on hand.
There is no record of the accused having a learner’s licence, said Mr Bosman.
As soon as the officer began to issue a summons, the driver got out of his vehicle and became aggressive, making racist remarks. The driver’s mother, also got out of the vehicle and started filming and shouting at officers, said Mr Bosman.
They were warned several times to calm down and get back in the vehicle. When asked for details, the driver refused, he was then informed that if he did not comply, he would face arrest.
One of the officers activated her emergency alarm on the radio, but when back-up arrived, the driver tied to run away.
The officers gave chase and the driver resisted arrest.
“The Safety and Security Directorate views all complaints and allegations in a most serious light. At the same time, we will not allow our officers to be attacked verbally or physically when they are executing their duties.
“This video highlights the abuse officers endure on a near daily basis. Traffic officers are often accused of turning a blind eye to transgressions and nothing could be further from the truth.
“They are there to ensure the safety of all road users and to make sure everyone complies. While we will investigate from our side to ensure the officers followed procedure, the law must also run its course on the charges laid against the driver,” said Mr Bosman.
The boy was subsequently arrested and charged with crimen injuria, failure to comply with lawful instruction and resisting arrest. A case was opened against him at the Lentegeur police station.
Constable Felicia Adams Lentegeur SAPS spokesperson confirmed the arrest of the boy who was released on a warning on the same day and must appear in court in January 2021.