Cape Town - A Bonteheuwel woman allegedly raped inside the Elsies River police station’s toilet may have been coerced into making a statement implicating a police officer, the Western Cape High Court has heard.
This was the evidence of Constable Vuyo Nyaka, who testified in former Warrant Officer Theodore Syster’s defence on Thursday.
Syster, along with three other Elsies River police employees, Jaede Fillies, Beverly Carelse and Theo van Wyk, were charged in connection with the incident two years ago.
The State alleges Fillies and Syster kidnapped the woman and her boyfriend from Viking Park, Epping, on June 15, 2010 and took them to the police station. Her boyfriend paid a R100 public nuisance fine and was told to leave.
Syster allegedly raped the woman inside a toilet at the police station while Fillies allegedly filmed part of the incident on a cellphone.
Van Wyk had allegedly known about the rape and the video, he had lied about it in a sworn statement. Syster, Fillies and Carelse had also allegedly tried to coerce the woman into dropping the rape case.
But at the end of the State’s case, Judge Patricia Goliath found that there was insufficient evidence to convict Van Wyk. He was discharged last Wednesday.
On Thursday, Syster called three witnesses to testify in support of his version. Syster testified that he and the woman had sex, but denied that he raped her.
Nyaka told the court on Thursday that he and another police officer went to the woman’s workplace to interview her on June 17, 2010.
The other police officer interviewed her inside a police vehicle, Nyaka said.
“I was in the car the whole time. His approach was intimidating. He never asked if she was comfortable speaking in the car and with me being present,” Nyaka said. Nyaka said the woman did not want to talk about the incident.
“He asked if she was raped and she said she was not raped,” Nyaka said.
The woman was then taken to the police station where she had to make a statement implicating the men.
Sergeant Esmeralda Pheiffer, who took down the statement, also testified for Syster on Thursday. She said the woman appeared at ease during the time the statement was recorded.
“She was very calm compared to other victims who cried and appeared traumatised,” said Pheiffer who, at the time, had eight years experience in recording rape victim statements.
The woman had nonetheless taken the stand in the trial this year.
The trial continues on Monday.