Child in Ballito video: officers “acted correctly”

BALLITO. – The KwaDukuza Municipality’s two peace officers, who were seen apparently “manhandling” a small child on a video that was widely distributed on social media, acted correctly. This is according to Sipho Mkhize, spokesperson for the municipality.

Grabbed the screaming child

The video caused outrage after it was posted on social media. Several political parties condemned the alleged harsh behaviour of two peace officers who seemed to grab a scared and screaming child away from his father.

Child was handled “in terms of Child Act”

The municipality conducted an urgent internal investigation and found that the child who was seen being handled in the video, was “handled in terms of Child Act and was being taken safety after the arrest of the father.”

Here is the video:

Officers received complaints

The officers, according to Mkhize, received complaints of non adherence of the Disaster Management Act Regulations at the Shakas Rock Tidal Beach. “It was around 08h45 when officers arrived at the Shakas Rock Tidal Beach and observed people being at the beach while it is not allowed during Lockdown Level 4, in the company of kids. Officers informed them of their transgressions and their rights and 11 people in total were arrested. There were seven (7) kids as officers were effecting the arrest and four kids were handed over correctly and safely to their homes and with no harm. The other three (3) kids were being processed to be handed over to their homes safely at the same premises as seen on video when this incident happened.”

It is not known whether there were any adults at these homes for the children to be taken to. Mkhize said the person who took the video was also arrested.

Was officer’s “responsibility”

“It is the officer’s responsibility, like in this case, to secure and safely keep and handle the child in cases of arrests by taking the child to a safe place which was the case with these officers not manhandling the child.”

“Eleven (11) arrests were made on the day in question for Contravening Disaster Management Act Regulation 24(2)(a) for being found at a place prohibited to be during a lockdown: public parks, sports ground and fields, beaches and swimming pool.

“Furthermore, we have learned that the man causing drama by running away to avoid arrest is an employee of the Department of Health (DoH) at Chief Albert Luthuli Hospital.”

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