A former Security Branch officer says black officers feared their white colleagues, who regularly called them the k-word.
Joe Nyampule testified on Monday in the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg at the inquest into the death of Dr Neil Aggett.
It is alleged that Aggett committed suicide while in police custody on February 4 or February 5, 1982.
“When addressing an officer, Captain Makgoro, they would first use the k-word before calling his name. We were treated like children. Even us whenever we were called, they would first use the k-word before addressing our names.
“We were afraid of the white Security Branch officers. Whenever they wanted to do something, they would do it. A white constable once instructed a black captain what to do,” Nyampule said, adding that the captain refused to be instructed by a junior officer.
“Before he could finish his sentence, he was on the ground after being punched with a fist by a white constable and nothing was done to the constable.”
He said the incident and others didn’t sit well with him, but there was nothing black officers could do.
Nyampule said he continued working for the Security Branch until 1994, when it was disbanded. He then worked at various South African Police Service (SAPS) units.
He said while working at Eikenhof after 1994, he was frustrated after a young white lieutenant ordered him to wash his car daily. He then asked to be transferred.
Nyampule has since retired following stints at the Attorney General’s investigating unit, working for the Scorpions.
The hearing continues on Tuesday with former SAPS employee Mohanoe Makhetha taking the stand.