Durban - A policewoman who was sexually assaulted by her superior over a four-year period said she had suffered the pain of these incidents in silence, thinking it was wrong to report someone in a position of authority.
The police captain, who resigned before a disciplinary hearing could be held, was recently found guilty and fined R20â€‰000 by Verulam magistrate Judy Pillay.
Moses Dlamini, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate spokesman, said this was a rare conviction for KwaZulu-Natal involving a sexual offence by a police officer against a fellow police officer.
Mzikayifani Mchunu, 52, had pleaded not guilty to the charge at the start of the trial earlier this year. He claimed the constable, who cannot be named, had fabricated her evidence. However, he admitted he was remorseful for his actions.
The court found that Mchunu had, between 2010 and 2014, sexually assaulted the constable. The single mother of two, now 38, had asked to be moved from the Phoenix police station.
“I could not carry on with my post at Phoenix SAPS because I was feeling unsafe and even now I still feel unsafe,” read her victim impact statement.
She said she now also could not mentor, educate or play with her children, and was on depression medication.
Verulam Regional Court prosecutor Kaystree Ramsamujh had initially argued for a term of imprisonment.
Ramsamujh argued that Mchunu ought to have known better. “He took advantage of the complainant’s vulnerability.”
Mchunu told the court he could afford a R5 000 fine.
In handing down her decision on sentence, Pillay noted the sentiments of the 16 Days of Activism For No Violence Against Women and Children Campaign.
“In spite of women advocating for centuries for them not to be made into sexual objects and for the positions that they held, every single woman is vulnerable to be abused and vulnerable to sexual attention,” she said.
She called for Mchunu to pay the R20 000 fine.