SA police allegedly assaulted Brazil agent
Publish date: 10 September 2018
Issue Number: 790
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: A Matter of Justice
The Brazilian embassy has called for an urgent meeting with the ‘highest possible level of authority’ of SA after one its agents was allegedly assaulted by Johannesburg Metro Police Division (JMPD) officers, according to a Times Select report. The person concerned, a Brazilian Embassy agent, was transporting other senior Brazilian dignitaries when they were stopped at 11.30pm at a roadblock near Midrand on 26 June. According to a letter sent to the Department of International Relations and Co-operation (Dirco), the agent was pulled out of the vehicle, put in the back of a police truck and driven to a clinic where his blood samples were allegedly taken ‘without his consent’. Now the Brazilian embassy wants an explanation from the South African authorities on why its agent was detained, and diplomatic immunity protocol seemingly ignored. The agent was allegedly prevented from speaking to the diplomatic police attaché, his embassy and Dirco officers. ‘In an embarrassing manner, some police officers punched him twice and to avoid further harm, he allowed them to take his blood samples against his will,’ read the document. JMPD’s Wayne Minnaar said officers who misbehave must be reported to their internal affairs unit. ‘Any member who is corrupt or misbehaves must be reported to our offices where disciplinary action will be taken against them. Those officials should report this to us immediately,’ said Minnaar. A source within the embassy reportedly said the agent wanted to speak to Dirco officials because he did not trust the JMPD officials.