Businessman cries foul

Yoliswa Sobuwa

PROMINENT businessman Ayanda Sokaliwe, of Kwazakhele, is planning to sue the South African Police Service for defamation of character, wrongful arrest and mistreatment after he was arrested by members of the Swartkops police.

Sokaliwe is a member of MVP (Most Valuable Players), a group of popular DJs in Nelson Mandela Bay that appeared in The Herald recently because they pooled the money they made as DJs to pay for their studies.

“My problems started on Thursday when my sister Zodwa called me to say the police were looking for me at my mother’s place in Motherwell. She gave them my numbers.

“I was then called by a constable who said he wanted to meet with me but could not say why. We agreed that they would come to my place on Friday morning,” 37-year-old Sokaliwe said.

The following day he was rudely awoken by two plainclothed police officers in Kwazakhele where he also runs a tavern. “I was shocked when they told me they are arresting me for stealing at my workplace. I told them I have never worked for anybody in my life because I have my own businesses. They would not listen and took out a copy of an ID.

“The person on that ID was Ayanda [with a different surname to Sokaliwe]. One said I might have taken the ID picture when I was still young.

“They wanted to take me to the police station but I refused.” According to Sokaliwe, the two officers then called for back-up. “In a few minutes, there were about 15 police officials surrounding my place. I asked them to give me a chance to show them my ID. They just took the ID without looking and demanded that I should get inside one of the police bakkies,” he said.

He was taken to a chain food store in Markman where managers told police Sokaliwe was not the person they were looking for.

“I was humiliated in front of my neighbours. Even my family are traumatised. The treatment I got, ruined my reputation.Everyone here knows that I don’t drink alcohol or smoke. I am working on a civil case with my lawyer.”

Motherwell police spokesman Captain Andre Beetge said: “The police need to have a good reason to do something like that. Sokaliwe is welcome to lay a complaint at the police station.”

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