Meet the most arrested ‘innocent’ man in Joburg

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Meet the most arrested ‘innocent’ man in Joburg

Pakistan national alleges that police are used by his enemies to harass him, and he plans to sue

Journalist

Hafiz Saqib Saddiq says he is probably the most harassed person in Gauteng. In the past 18 months, he has been arrested more than 20 times and charged for theft, hijacking, fraud and extortion among other crimes.
He has been thrown into jail 12 times and has 11 cases officially registered against him by police. Saddiq’s accusers are his fellow countrymen from Pakistan, who operate businesses in the Southern Gauteng area. In this process, he claims he has lost his BMW X3, cellphones worth more than R12,000, a laptop, and jewellery – all taken in the course of the investigations.
But, according to Saddiq, it has turned out that all the cases opened against him were “fake cases” - ploys allegedly used by his enemies to get police  to harass him. He now wants to sue for damages. 
Saddiq told Times Select this was abuse of power.
“I’ve spent nights at police holding cells, detained, thrown into jail and handcuffed for all these fake cases. The reason for this is that I am ready to expose corruption happening in the Pakistan community in South Africa,” he said.
He claimed to have evidence implicating others in criminal activities.
Captain Mavela Masondo, provincial police spokesman confirmed they were investigating the allegations. “We can’t really give more information right now as the matter is in court, but we can confirm.”
Saddiq even reported this to the Independent Police Investigation Directorate (Ipid), who referred the matter to the police to investigate.
Times Select has seen a letter written by the national head of investigations at Ipid, Matthews Sesoko, in which he confirms the matter was sent to the national head of police in Gauteng.
Ipid spokesperson Moses Dlamini said: “I did check the progress and the feedback was that our Gauteng provincial office wrote to Mr Saddiq advising him that his complaint falls outside the mandate of the Ipid. He was advised in writing of options to follow and directed to where he can get assistance.”
Last week police intelligence members from the provincial office visited Saddiq to get statements from him.
Gauteng police, despite numerous reminders, did not respond to questions sent to them earlier in the week.
Saddiq’s lawyers, Van Der Westhuizen Attorneys, have written a notice of contemplated action for damages resulting from unlawful arrest and detention to the police offices.
In the letter, sent on August 4 and addressed to the national police commissioner, Lieutenant Khehla Sithole, his lawyers said: “Our client was severely traumatised and stressed and was hiding due to fear of being arrested ... we are demanding R1m in damages from the police for wrongful arrest.”
The police have 30 days to respond.National police spokesman Brigadier Vish Naidoo could not be reached for comment to confirm if they were attending the matter or not.
Saddiq said he had spent time at the Leeuhouf prison in Vereeniging. “SAPS members open fake and false cases against Pakistani and Bangladeshi people and arrest them on false allegations and keep them in police cells or alternatively in Leeuhouf prison.
Some of the cases include:
• In January 2017 he was arrested for stealing R1 500;
• In August 2017, he was accused of stealing R25 000;
• In September 2017, he was accused of pointing of firearm;
• In June 2018, a case of armed robbery was opened against him;
• In June 2018, a case of extortion, contempt of court and contravention of court order was opened against him;
• In July 2018, a case of intimidation was opened against him and
• In July 2018, a hijacking case was opened against him.
He claims when he opens criminal cases,  no one is arrested or questioned.

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