A Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) Public Order officer was assaulted and sustained injuries to his face after he tried to disperse a crowd hosting a funeral “after tears”.

According to Xolani Fihla, JMPD spokesperson officers attended to the prohibited gathering at around 20:30 in Protea Glen, Soweto, following a complaint.

Fihla said approximately 150 people attended the gathering and alcohol was confiscated.

The sale of alcohol and indoor and outdoor gatherings are prohibited under the adjusted Level 3 lockdown. Funerals are to be attended by up to 50 people and post gatherings, known as “after tears”, are not allowed.

Fihla further said when officers arrived at the gathering some people left while others refused. He said “Officers confiscated alcohol and the participants that were left behind started fighting with the officers. One officer was assaulted. He sustained injuries to his face”.

Two suspects were arrested and one fled, leaving behind his vehicle, which was impounded. The arrested suspects face charges of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and the contravention of the Disaster Management Act adjusted Level 3 regulations for being part of an illegal social gathering.

They were both detained at the Protea Glen police station.

He also said that the injured officer was taken to hospital in a serious but stable condition.

“We wish him a speedy recovery. JMPD really condemns the assault of any police official and we cannot allow that to happen.

Fihla added that “The attack on police officers who are legally executing their duties is an attack to the rule of law in the city”.