Durban - Residents at a South Coast holiday resort claim they are “living in fear” after an eManzimtoti police officer and a crowd of his friends allegedly terrorised them.
“It was like a horror story and everyone is still scared,” said Christa Joubert, who said on Tuesday that the officer had pushed her in her face and said: “You will have to ****ing run from here and sell yourself on the street corners when I am finished with you, you ****ing white hag.”
People were “very traumatised that he would bring about 30 men in here, some of them armed and act(ing) like gangsters, assaulting women – terrorising children”, said Joubert in a statement to Durban Central police station where she opened a case against the officer.
KZN police spokesman Captain Thulani Zwane said that the eManzimtoti station commander had not yet received any complaint and no one opened any case yet at the station. He advised the complainant to come and see him so that he could investigate the matter.
The unnamed officer bought a small flat at the Wavecrest Holiday Resort in Illovo Beach last August, but had never lived on the property, said Joubert, the developer.
She claimed he had arrived at Wavecrest last month, demanding a key for the night locks for two gates on the property, which lead onto the beach. They are locked at night for security reasons (there had been nine burglaries in six months).
“I explained that no one has keys – he started using abusive language and threatened me that he was going to make changes,” said Joubert, who told him changes could only be made by the body corporate.
“He then threatened that he would remove the locks as we had no right to lock the gates at night. I proceeded to explain to him that the passage through the land to the beach was a privilege and not his right…
“The development rights belong to me and I have exclusive use of the land.
“He has free passage during daylight hours,” she said in her statement.
The policeman “was very angry and started screaming at me saying that he will come and remove the locks if I should dare to lock the gates at night”.
Then last Thursday, she was told the officer had cut the locks: “Upon closer inspection we found that one lock and two chains were cut from the boundary gate on the east. We also noticed that the chains on the gate were cut on the inside of the poles.
“The lock on the first gate was cut by a very large tool as these are high security locks.”
When she called the eManzimtoti police station to lay a charge, a constable said he could not send anyone to see her because the police officer in question had made a report saying he had to cut the locks because he had been locked out of his flat and the previous owner refused to give him a key.
It cost R1 500 to replace the locks and chains.
At about 9.40pm last Friday, she got a report of a lot of cars and people at the main gate.
They were playing loud music, spinning tyres, screaming and shouting, she said.
Then she saw the main gate was open and a lot of men were walking up the driveway.
A speeding car stopped next to her and the driver – the officer in question, who was in civilian clothes – allegedly swore at her and said he had come to show his friends his place and “cut off the locks”.
He raced to a parking area, where there were three uniformed policeman, she said.
Joubert asked them to help her “as the officer was out of control and he has no right to cut our locks”.
One replied that they were there to support the officer, who told the crowd they were now going to cut the locks.
He sent for a bolt cutter and they all – including the three officers in uniform – proceeded to the first gate, but he was unable to cut the lock, she said.
His son then hit the lock with the cutters and when Quinton van Deventer, the son of another resident, Esta van Deventer, saw that they could not cut the lock, he laughed.
At this, the officer told him to clear off “or I will shoot you”, she said.
Another man allegedly moved forward, drew a firearm and held it behind his back and told Van Deventer to draw his “****ing gas gun so I can shoot you”.
The mob started chanting this over and over again, Joubert said in her statement.
The officer sent someone for bigger tools and they broke both gates and walked onto the nearby railway bridge and back, then stood around making a lot of noise before leaving. Nobody went close to his flat, she said.
Joubert wondered in her statement why the officer would risk everybody’s safety in the complex by breaking gates at night when he knew they could not be repaired then.
She said on Tuesday that she was not sure if the crowd were policemen in civilian clothes.
People were fearful that the mob would return.
Although she opened a case at Durban Central police station, it was going to be referred to eManzimtoti police station.
Joubert said the officer had opened a case of crimen injuria against the elderly wife of the body corporate chairman for a remark she had allegedly made to him.
Van Deventer said on Tuesday: “I can’t sleep. I am traumatised and upset as my son was threatened.”