#BBCtrending: South African police brutality caught on camera

  • 11 March 2014

A video showing a Nigerian man being brutally attacked by uniformed police in South Africa has sparked public outrage and prompted a heated discussion about the country's attitudes towards immigrants.

The footage, which was posted to social media, led to the suspension and arrest of two police officers. Anne-Marie Tomchak from #BBCtrending reports.

In a statement to #BBCtrending, the South African Police Service confirmed that the officers involved were from Cape Town Central police station. A spokesperson said they were "horrified" by the incident and said an internal investigation has been launched.

Dr Danny Titus of the South African Human Rights Commission told the BBC that there was a systemic problem in South Africa's Police Service. Dr Titus said the solution was not merely a case of weeding out a few bad apples.

The independent police watchdog leading the inquiry told #BBCtrending that social media played a pivotal role in leading to the arrests. Moses Dlamini, spokesperson for the Independent Police Investigative Directive, urged people to not be afraid to record and report abuse.

Our reporter Anne-Marie Tomchak has more on the police response and what she's been hearing from Nigerians living in South Africa.

There are approximately 17,000 registered Nigerians living in South Africa, according to a study. But it's estimated that up to a million undocumented immigrants are in the country.

Are you from elsewhere in Africa and living in South Africa? Is this an isolated incident - or an example of a wider problem?

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