Woodstock police officers appear in court for assault charges
By Kim Saulse
16 October 2009
Two Woodstock police officers appeared in the Cape Town Magistrates’ Court today on charges of assault, with intent to do grievous bodily harm.
Constables Candice Hendricks and Lorentia Hamilton are accused of badly beating up Jonas Lukana Majila, a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo, three years ago while in police custody.
Majila took the stand yesterday, after laying the initial charge in November 2006.
Majila alleges that the officers forced him to undress, after which they sprayed pepper spray on his private parts.
Hendricks, Hamilton and two other police students had been carrying out stop and search patrols in Woodstock, when they apprehended Majila for alleged riotous behaviour.
During cross examination by the state prosecutor C Engel, both Hamilton and Hendricks reiterated that Majila had resisted arrest aggressively, forcing them to “fight like men”.
They did, however, deny allegations that they had assaulted him.
Hendricks told the court how she had been kicked in her private parts by Majila, as she and her colleagues tried to restrain, what she described as an excessively violent Majila.
A third witness from the defence will appear when trial resumes on November, 6.