Family demands answers after assault, shooting

Bathini Cele was shot in the upper arm, tummy and back and had severe bruising to her breasts, thighs and arms.
Bathini Cele was shot in the upper arm, tummy and back and had severe bruising to her breasts, thighs and arms.

A BRIARDENE resident is demanding justice after his mother was assaulted and shot last year allegedly by people demolishing shacks.

The incident unfolded after several shacks were demolished in the eMgodini area of the settlement. Bathini Cele was kicked, punched and shot at four times (the perpetrators used rubber bullets) during the assault. The 54-year-old opened a case of common assault at the Point Police Station after being rushed to Addington Hospital.

The case was later handed over to the Greenwood Park SAPS. According to Cele, her case was withdrawn in court because she retaliated against her attackers by biting them. Now her family are demanding justice for the incident which occurred in September last year.
Cele, who is on crutches, says she still bears the psychological scars from the attack.

“They were busy demolishing shacks and I took out my phone to respond to my daughter’s ‘Please Call Me.’ I’m not sure if the people thought I was trying to film them but they immediately approached me and asked me what I was doing. One of the people snatched my cell phone from my hands and when I made an effort to grab it back, that’s when they began to hit me.

She had severe bruising to her breasts, arms, and legs.

“They knocked me with my back and then I heard a number of loud gunshots. I was hit four times with the rubber bullets, in my upper arm, my back and other parts of my body. My friends, Mbali and Anele tried to intervene and stop the assault but they were also scratched in the incident. My friends helped me back to my shack and I had to be transported to Addington Hospital. I had massive bruises to my breasts, back and legs and I’m still in shock after what happened,” she said.

Cele’s son, Phineas, said he was later told by the detective investigating his mother’s case that it had been dropped because she bit one of her attackers.

“That means if I’m attacked and I try to defend myself there is no law to protect me. I was extremely angry after the incident, I couldn’t believe how my mother was treated. There were other ways to diffuse the situation, and this is all because they thought she was filming them. How do you treat someone like this? This is excessive force,” he said.

Bathini Cele's family are furious over the assault and shooting.

Bathini Cele’s family are furious over the assault and shooting.

Leon Audh, spokesman for the Greenwood Park SAPS confirmed a case of common assault had been opened at the station. He also confirmed the case had been withdrawn in court but was not able to say why.

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