‘Assault’ cops want charges dropped

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Jeffrey Muvundusi

SIX police officers who allegedly assaulted two women from Cowdray Park suburb have filed an application to have their charges dropped.

This comes as the case, which caused a huge uproar among residents and human rights activists, had suffered several false starts.

The six, who are represented by Maclean Mahaso and Nkosiyabo Sibanda of Tanaka Law Chambers, yesterday appeared before Western Commonage magistrate Gladmore Mushowe facing two counts of assault each.
Simbarashe Bvekwa, 26, Tichaona Zariro, 34, Patson Gumoreyi,30, Elizabeth Denhere, 41, Zibusiso Masuku, 27, and Christabel Munyondo, 28, have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Their defence counsel yesterday told the court that they want to make an application for exception to the charges.

“The accused persons seek to except to the charges against them. There are serious issues with these charges. We have registered our concerns with the State and we advised them that we will be submitting our written application on July 15,” Mahaso said.

However, the State said the accused’s lawyers were simply employing delaying tactics on the case.

“This seems like a delaying tactic by the lawyers, considering the amount of time that they had after being served with the court papers. But for progress sake, the court will accept the request,” said prosecutor Kenneth Shava.

Mushowe remanded the matter to July 21 where a ruling on the application is expected to be delivered.
It is the State’s case that on April 16 at around 12pm, the accused persons were on duty enforcing lockdown regulations where they met Ntombizodwa and Nokuthula Mpofu at TM Supermarket and asked them where they were going.

The court heard that the two women replied that they were returning from a butchery where they had gone to buy some meat.

However, the officers allegedly grabbed them by the hands and hit them with a baton stick several times on their behinds.

The court heard that Ntombizodwa’s cellphone, which was in her back pocket, was damaged.
The court was told that the police officers allegedly went on to take turns to assault the two women on their behinds and hips several times, insulting them with obscenities and degrading them over their tribe.

The two women were then reportedly handcuffed and force-marched to Cowdray Park police base.
They were only released the following day after paying a fine of $200 each.

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