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A North West traffic official admitted he used “minimum” force in trying to arrest a Klerksdorp woman who tried to reach her dying father in hospital, the Tlokwe Municipality said on Wednesday.
Spokesman Willie Maphosa said the officer tried to stop Hestia Kotze, who did not comply, on Saturday afternoon. He then chased her on the N12 after he noticed reckless driving that obstructed oncoming traffic.
In the Beeld newspaper on Wednesday, Kotze alleged she was manhandled and sprayed with pepper spray at Potchefstroom Mediclinic's entrance, after the officer attempted to pull her over near the Ikageng offramp, on her way to see her father. He died before she could see him.
“I was doing no more than 120km. I moved into the other lane, and gestured to him, saying it was an emergency and I needed his help. My headlights and emergency lights were flashing,” said Kotze.
Maphosa said the officer did not know why she was driving in that way.
“When they arrived at hospital the officer informed her about her reckless driving and that he was about to arrest her. The driver started swearing at the officer and resisted arrest. The officer used minimum force to effect the arrest of the lady, who continued to fight, refusing to be arrested.
“If there was 1/8better 3/8 communication, officers could have escorted her to the hospital,” said Maphosa.
Charges against Kotze were dropped by the Potchefstroom Magistrate's Court, and she said she would pursue a civil claim against the officer.
Maphosa said the municipality would like her to come forward with her side of the story, as it only had the officer's version.
“We don't want to protect our officer, we want her to come (forward) so we can investigate this matter,” said Maphosa. - Sapa