Imam Fahkier Mohamed, of Masjidul Manaaru Hudaa in Jordaan Street, says although he was in jail, he continued to fast.
The holy man says he now has first-hand experience of “police brutality”, and can understand why people in his community do not trust cops.
The imam was released on Monday and took to social media to slam Manenberg cops, saying the officers who arrested him “were arrogant and abused their powers”.
Imam Fahkier says about 10pm on Saturday he had completed his Taraweegh prayers at the mosque and went home.
He changed his clothes and was on his way to a nearby shop when he saw cops arresting a man on the corner of Ruimte Road and Manenberg Avenue.
“I saw the Anti-Gang Unit with a young man who they were arresting and they punched him in the face,” he says.
He says although it had upset him, he continued on his way. On his return home, he saw the man was still being “abused” and intervened.
“They continued to hit him and I stopped and asked if they think this is right what they are doing?”
He says the next moment several cops were on top of him, placing him in the police van.
“When I got to the police station someone had already notified them that I am an imam. They let go of the suspect’s girlfriend, whom they also arrested for interfering with cops, (but kept me),” he explains.
He says his family was not allowed to bring him food to the Manenberg SAPS holding cells.
The imam says he is highlighting his experience in the hopes that authorities will improve police services.
“I feel like the police wanted to spite me,” he says. “I now understand why people say they do not want to work with the police. The police need to stop with their abuse of power.
“I spent two nights there and on Monday the charge was withdrawn before I could appear in court.”
Manenberg Police Station Commander, Colonel Sanele Zama, says the young man was being arrested after he was found to be in possession of a fake gun.
“The other (Imam Fahkier) was arrested and charged for interfering with the execution of police members duties.”