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Cyclist, diplomat row - charges laid

2013-05-15 08:32

DIPLOMATS ABOVE THE LAW: Diplomats in SA enjoy diplomatic immunity, which shields them from criminal charges in their host country. Despite the video evidence, diplomat has the gall to charge cyclist Hein van der Merwe with intimidation.

A video posted to YouTube showed a Pretoria cyclist being manhandled in a roadside scuffle by a diplomat's security guards. Cyclist Hein van der Merwe said a black Mercedes Benz failed to stop on Roper Street in Pretoria on May 8 2013 and proceeded to cut in front of him.

A scuffle ensued whereby one of the diplomatic aides pinned Van der Merwe to the ground and threatened him. Charges of assault and reckless driving laid by Van der Merwe are being investigated, reports police.

Watch the video.

Brigadier Phuti Setati said the envoy's driver reported charges of crimen injuria and intimidation at Brooklyn police station in Pretoria. He said police were investigating all the cases.


Van der Merwe said: "In my attempt to get the driver's attention by cycling next to the driver side door/window, repeatedly shouting and in a final attempt to get his attention, hitting down twice on his side wing mirror (which was completely undamaged), the vehicle deliberately tried to run me over by swerving into me."

A brawl ensued and in the video you can see a security guard wrestling and pinning Merwe to the ground.

Van der Merwe said: “The diplomatic police on scene told me to delete photos and videos I took of the diplomat. The police also [began] intimidating the school child who took the video.”

Setati said allegations that police officers who arrived at the scene did not assist Merwe were also being investigated. He said diplomats in South Africa were protected by private security, not by police officers.

When a diplomat was involved in an incident warranting police intervention, Setati said, statements were taken and the dockets were forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecution for further instruction.

Setati said: "The SA Police Service will not take any action pending the decision by the DPP, who will be in close liaison with the department of international relations and co-operation."

Watch the video!

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