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South Africa: Victims of Deputy President's Protection Unit Still Traumatised

The SA military trainees who were beaten up by members of the Presidential Protection Unit (PPU) on Sunday thought they were being hijacked.

The driver said their nightmare started when a black BMW SUV appeared in his mirror with one of its occupants pointing an R5 rifle at him.

Pikkie Greeff, the general secretary of the SA National Defence Union, said the military recruits had recovered but remained traumatised by the experience.

“I have spoken to one victim who is a member of the union and what he basically said is that a black BMW SUV appeared next to him on the highway on Sunday.

“One of the occupants was pointing an R5 rifle at him in what he thought to be a hijacking in progress.

“And the next minute they were boxed in by other SUVs and were forced off to the side of the road,” said Greeff.

Driving one of the most hijacked cars on South African roads, according to Fidelity ADT’s latest carjacking report, the SANDF trainees feared for their lives and decided to cooperate with the “hijackers”.

“The assailants then got out, smashed the windows of the car and dragged the occupants out and started to assault them.

“That’s basically the story that he told me,” said Greeff.

He told Newzroom Afrika that the driver had no idea what they did to offend the members of the PPU.

Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) spokesperson Robbie Raburabu confirmed on Wednesday that a case of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm has been registered at the Sandton police station.

Ian Cameron, the director of community safety at Action Society SA, said they have been asked by the driver of the blue VW Polo to represent him in a future legal battle.

He said despite the overwhelming evidence in the viral video, Ipid has filed just one charge of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm after conducting an interview with L’vaughn Fisher, the driver.

“He was hit over the head with an assault rifle and then repeatedly kicked in the head while already unconscious from the first rifle blows. After we spoke about his physical injuries, I asked how he was emotionally. He went silent and after a long pause he said: ‘I am not okay’,” said Cameron.

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