Video posted on Facebook shows lawmen in the Western Cape meting out instant justice to alleged apple thieves.
In the footage‚ four Theewaterskloof Municipality law enforcement officers line the four suspects up against a roadside rockface and pelt them with the apples they allegedly stole.
The men stand with their backs to the officers‚ who vigorously throw the fruit from the other side of the deserted road.
The officers laugh as they throw the apples‚ taunting the men and using vulgar language. The footage is thought to have been shot by a fifth law enforcement officer.
Kevi van Wyk‚ who posted the video to his Facebook page Boland Dorpe‚ said the incident happened earlier this week.
“The officers caught the men stealing apples in Villiersdorp‚” he said.
“They took them out into the mountains then made them line up before throwing the apples at them.”
Van Wyk said the woman who had sent him the video had another‚ which allegedly showed the officers stripping one of the men naked and beating him up.
“I have the names of three of the men‚” he said.
“They’re all based in Villiersdorp.”
Van Wyk said the Theewaterskloof Municipality Democratic Alliance mayor‚ Christelle Vosloo‚ was aware of the incident. Vosloo said she was unable to discuss the matter because she was in a meeting.
Van Wyk said he was “really upset” by the footage.
“It’s wrong to steal apples but I don’t think this is the way to deal with it‚” he said.
Scores of people commented on the post‚ many of them condemning the officers’ actions.
Nathan Pillay said: “If these guys stole money‚ jewellery or raped‚ killed or robbed I would say well done. But to assault someone who stole food … honestly‚ do you feel this is fair? And you end up wasting this food throwing it at them and damaging it? Really disappointed.”
Lahmees Sayed calls the officers’ actions “pathetic”‚ adding: “Go to the Cape Flats and try that with the gangsters. But no‚ rather with farm workers. Sick fools.”