Quinton Muller, 55, who is also mute, says he was beaten and dragged by officers in front of his neighbours and 12-year-old grandchild.
The incident happened on Tuesday afternoon next to their garden in Shepherd Court in Lavender Hill.
“The police pulled up while we were chilling around 6pm,” explains the grandfather, his neighbour acting as an interpreter.
“They started searching everyone and since I cannot talk, I made sign language asking my neighbour what is happening.”
He said at this point police became violent towards him, asking why he was not obeying their instructions.
“They pushed and kicked me around. I could not do anything, I saw people trying to assist.
“I could only raise my hands. They asked where my mask was, but it fell off while they were beating me.”
Neighbour Faieka Gasant says she tried explaining to cops that Quinton is mute.
“All he wanted to know was what was going on and why we were being searched,” she says.
“The police did not want to listen when I told them that he cannot hear them and he needs me or someone to do sign language so he can understand.
“I did not have a mask on, but they did not only drag and beat me. They also gave me a R1000 fine.”
Quinton says during the drive to the Steenberg cop shop, while he was at the back of the van, a cop pointed a gun at him.
“They opened the van and pointed a gun at me for no reason. I could not read their lips because they wore masks. They then gave me the notice to appear in Wynberg court.”
He says he was left traumatised by the incident: “The police stepped on our tomatoes in the garden. I have never experienced that kind of treatment from the police. It was traumatic.”
Police spokesperson Colonel Andrè Traut confirmed the arrest: “This office can confirm that a 56-year-old male was arrested in Shepherd Way, Lavender Hill, for the contravention of the Disaster Management Regulations on 26 January at about 6.50pm. He was released on an admission of guilt fine.”
According to the notice, Quentin must appear in court on 4 March.
The office administrator says he lost his job when lockdown started.
“I will go to court because I cannot afford to pay the fine. The police said I must bring witnesses so hopefully they will throw out the case,” he says.