Former DA leader Mmusi Maimane was among many who called for respect when police officers deal with the elderly. South Africans have been left outraged after police arrested a gogo for selling achaar without a permit in Soweto, Dobsonville, on Thursday.
Officers took to the streets of Soweto after receiving complaints about non-compliance in many parts of the township and made arrests of those found to be flouting lockdown regulations.
However, South Africans were unimpressed after videos shared by e.tv journalist Graeme Raubenheimer showed two police officers ushering an elderly woman to a police van after she was found selling her achaar without a permit.
The woman is hauled into the back of a police van. The officers told me shortly after this video stopped recording that she was selling atchar without a permit. @etvNewsSA #Covid19SA pic.twitter.com/H6mi65OGyk
— Graeme Raubenheimer (@GraemeRauby) April 23, 2020
DA MP Phumzile van Damme said: “Is it necessary for two bulky police officers to hold this Mama like this? Hhay’ sies mahn, yesses!” while Redi Tlhabi wrote: “Before you say ‘she broke the law’ can you reflect on conditions that are forcing her to take the risk? How much money can she make a day? Is she a candidate for arrest? All over the world, we’ve seen police talking and expertly persuading people to go home. Our cops are sadistic.”
Tumi Sole of Country Duty was first to offer his assistance with her fine.
“I grew up in Dobsonville and I understand the struggles of our people. This is in no way discounting that she doesn’t have a permit but I can’t let her become part of the prison stats due to her not having a permit,” he said.
Then South Africans in their numbers offered financial assistance to the gogo.
Former DA leader Mmusi Maimane was among those who stepped up.
“Is there anyone who can help me contact umama. I would like to be of assistance.
“We need to exercise the law with empathy, to help umama get her paperwork not to treat her so roughly. Our mothers fought for our freedom, this is not how to treat them. Umuntu omdala uyahlonitshwa [The elderly must be respected]. That is ubuntu. This kind of treatment must never be accepted,” he said.
Businessman Vusi Thembekwayo offered the elderly woman R10,000, while others offered to also donate money and buy her electricity.
Hey tweeps, sorry for the late update.
We’d have thought that uMama would be out by now but it’s not going well.
She’s still in the holding cells & it’s not clear why are there delays.
Will keep you guys posted. pic.twitter.com/5hscvwu7j6
— Tumi Sole (@tumisole) April 23, 2020
The elderly woman was later released and will appear at the Roodepoort Magistrate’s Court tomorrow with an attorney provided for her, said Sole.
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