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Pretoria - A lieutenant-colonel in the SAPS’ Crime Intelligence unit is claiming R420 000 in damages from the minister of police and from two senior officers after they allegedly leaked classified information pertaining to her and spread false rumours that she and her husband were HIV-positive.
The officer, who will not be named to protect her from further humiliation, stated in papers before the Pretoria High Court that these false rumours were spread during February 2010. Apart from it being hurtful, it was also defamatory, she said.
The HIV statement was part of a leak of classified information and was in contravention of the SA Police Act. The officer said that by spreading these rumours the officers suggested she and her husband lived an immoral life.
She is claiming R350 000 for the damage done to her reputation and R70 000 in respect of medical expenses for the treatment of depression.
According to a medical report, her personal life was compromised due to her working environment where sensitive information regarding her was leaked. She felt traumatised, anxious and depressed.
The police, in defending the claim, denied such rumours were spread. But, in 2010, the SAPS top brass sent a letter to the heads of crime intelligence, in which it was stated that “incidents of gossip, the spreading of malicious allegations and fabrications of information by members against senior officers and fellow members were rife”.
The case was postponed indefinitely this week.