Alleged Police Brutality at May Street Masjid

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Police brutality has reared its ugly head once again. This time at the May Street masjid in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal and on the auspicious day of Jumu’ah.

Brother Khan (first named withheld) told Radio Islam that the May Street masjid which is located across an illegal taxi rank, usually gets full on Fridays with limited parking space available because of the number of musallee’s attending the Jumu’ah salaah (Friday prayer).

Khan said due to the parking constraints musallee’s normally double-parked their cars, which they have been doing so for years.

On Friday January 17th Khan arrived at the masjid at 12:40pm when he was approached by two metro police officers and asked to move his vehicle, which was double-parked.

Khan told one of the metro officers he was late for salaah to which the officer subsequently started issuing a ticket for Khan’s double-parked vehicle.

An altercation drawing a large number of onlookers ensued between Khan and the metro officer resulting in him being allegedly assaulted, where after Khan managed to escape and stepped into the masjid to read his salaah.

“He grabbed and assaulted me, and thereafter proceeded to arrest me as I was entering the masjid, but some musallees’s pushed me into the masjid,” said Khan.

The metro officer was halted by musallee’s for trying to enter the masjid after Khan.

An eyewitness, Imraan Shah who is an attorney told Radio Islam the metro officer wanted to enter the masjid with his shoes on to arrest Khan.

“I approached the officer and introduced myself as an attorney and asked him what the problem was, to which he replied, he wanted to arrest a man who had double-parked a car and was also resisting arrest,” said Shah.

Shah told the metro officer that he should wait five minutes for salaah to conclude before arresting Khan, to which the officer retorted: “We are the law, someone has broken the law and we are going in.”

The metro officer told Shah, that he had already called for backup and he would enter the masjid with his shoes on once the backup arrived.

What transpired next was utterly shocking according to Shah.  

About twenty metro police officers broke the sanctity of the masjid and about six of them stormed in with their shoes on showing flagrant disregard for the house of Allah; and while the salaah was in progress, they allegedly grabbed Mohammad Khan who was reading at the back and dragged him out of the masjid.

The metro officers arrested Mohammad Khan, handcuffed him and allegedly started brutally beating him on the face and arms. He suffered bruises to the face and arms.

“I asked them what I was being charged with, but they just didn’t want to listen,” said Mohammad.

After salaah, Mohammad’s Brother Firoze enquired from the metro police officers what his brother was being charged with and without any compassion or mediation; he too was also allegedly severely assaulted by the metro police officers, suffering a deep gash to the leg.

When salaah was concluded, the metro police officers surrounded the masjid and the musallee’s coming out.

Shah questioned the legality of the raid and enquired from the metro officers who was in charge, all the while also trying to calm the situation, but he was also allegedly assaulted by the nonchalant officers.

Shah said the metro officers were clad in uniforms but none wore name badges.

Five bystanders who were videoing the alleged brutality of the metro officers on their mobiles phones, had their phones confiscated and were arrested. They were taken to the C.R. Swart Police Station in Durban Central.

Shah’s son Mohammad who was one of those arrested said, at the police station the police officers deleted the footage and handed the mobile phones back to those arrested.

Mohammad said the police did not have any evidence to charge the five with, and they were subsequently released.

Khan who was sought by the metro police officer for double parking told Radio Islam he exited through the back entrance of the masjid after Jumu’ah salaah and went to the doctor to be treated for his injuries.

Radio Islam contacted the C.R. Swart Police Station and spoke to Captain Ndlala who said that only the liaison officers, Captain Zwane and Captain Ndlovu were mandated to issue comments and due to them working office hours, they would only be available on Monday (20 January).  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.