A video published to YouTube on Sunday shows a cyclist being wrestled to the ground by three men who appear to be
“blue light” VIP security guards.
[UPDATE] – Journalist, Barry Bateman has confirmed that the men who accosted the cyclist were diplomat security guards.
@2oceansvibe it wasn’t a blue light brigade. It was a diplomat’s bodyguards. Not police.
— Barry Bateman (@barrybateman) May 13, 2013
Blue light transportation is typically reserved for cabinet ministers and diplomatic envoys. The description of the video alleges that “a diplomatic vehicle drove a cyclist off the road and the body guards harassed him when approached them.”
According to witnesses on the scene, the cyclist was travelling down Roper street in Pretoria when a VIP vehicle unit skipped a red traffic light. The cyclist, who narrowly avoided colliding with the vehicle, hit the roof of the vehicle with his fist in retaliation. The vehicle then pulled to a halt, and the action visible in the video unfolded.
At this point we don’t know who the VIP – allegedly a diplomat – in the vehicle is.
We’re withholding the name of the cyclist until we have his permission to publish it.
The cyclist is one Hein van der Merwe, of Pretoria.
Our friends over at eNCA had a bit more spice:
“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,” said der Merwe.
Van der Merwe says he tried to open a case at the Brooklyn Police Station, but was told the case involves diplomatic police, as well as foreign diplomats, and would have to be reported to police headquarters on Troy Street.
Diplomats in South Africa enjoy standard diplomatic immunity. Diplomatic immunity shields foreign envoys from criminal charge in their host country. However, the sending country of the diplomat may charge an individual posted to a foreign country in their own courts for an alleged crime, or renounce the diplomatic immunity of the envoy.
For lesser crimes, diplomats may be recalled, or face internal embassy disciplinary processes.
We’ll update the story as details continue to emerge.
[Source : YouTube]
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