Cape Town - What started out as an arrest for drunk driving ended up with an injured suspect and the alleged use of the k-word by a police officer.
The incident - involving an SA Navy chef and then-constable Zelda Bussey - is now the subject of a matter before the Equality Court.
Bussey is alleged to have said: “Die k***** dink hy is slim. Ek sal hom uitsort. (This k***** thinks he’s smart. I’ll sort him out).”
Bussey is alleged to have said the words while her partner was arresting the “unco-operative” navy chef, Phila Mnyanda.
Mnyanda is asking the court for an undisclosed sum and wants an apology.
He says he was put in the back of the police van, where he fell and was injured as Bussey drove recklessly as a way of “sorting him out”.
When Bussey took the stand on Monday, she denied she had used the k-word and deliberately caused Mnyanda’s injuries.
Bussey, who has since been promoted to sergeant, told the court that she and her partner, Constable Patrick Lottering, had pulled Mnyanda over in Chiappini Street in August 2011 for driving in the wrong direction down a one-way road. She said she asked him to drive in the correct manner.
After Mnyanda drove off, Lottering had raised questions about whether he had been drunk. The pair pulled him over again, Bussey said.
After Mnyanda was put in the back of the van, he was taken to the Cape Town Central police station, where he and his vehicle were booked. He was taken later to a testing centre in Athlone, where his blood was drawn.
Cross-examined by Graham Taylor, for Mnyanda, Bussey reiterated that she had not racially insulted Mnyanda.
Taylor said his client had testified that Bussey had been driving “recklessly” with the intention to injure him and that this was what he believed she had meant when she said she would “sort” him out.
Bussey said she had been driving at about 60km/h and the vehicle had been steady.
She acknowledged that Mnyanda had received abrasions to his shins, but denied this had been intentional.
She said she had temporarily lost control of the vehicle due to the “blinding” light from Mnyanda’s camera when he tried to take a picture from the back of the van.
She had been forced to swerve, which resulted in Mnyanda falling and injuring himself, she said.
Judge Elizabeth Baartman will hear closing arguments on the matter on Tuesday.