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Johannesburg - She was allegedly slapped, hit in the face with sandals and then forced to wash an official’s vehicle, before being released for a crime she never commited.
This is what Peace Dube claims she was subjected to at the hands of volunteers at the Ivory Park police station’s trauma unit, where she had reported her missing five-year-old boy.
Dube had just learnt from a local community radio station that her son Ngqabutho, who had been missing for nearly a week in Tembisa, had been found and that she should report to the police station immediately.
At the charge office, Dube and a friend who had accompanied her were told to go to the trauma unit at the station.
“When we got there, my friend was told to take my son and leave me behind. They told her not to give me money for transport because I would be locked in for negligence.
“They said I was an ignorant mother and that’s when I was smacked and hit with shoes on the face and hands as I tried to protect my face,” said Dube.
Just when she thought her ordeal was over, Dube said a trauma unit official instructed her to wash his car before her release.
Dube said the female volunteers then told her she was an ignorant mother.
“I did not know anything. I thought maybe those women had the right to beat me as I had lost my son. I look better now, although my hands are painful, my eye was bruised and I could not see with it,” said the Zimbabwean.
On Friday, two days after the alleged attack, Dube opened an assault case at the station.
The station’s communication officer was attending a course when The Star team visited the station.
The team were told that the station commander was on his way to a meeting and that the acting commander would have a chat with the team. However, that did not happen as the commander asked to see Dube alone.
Ngqabutho went missing while visiting his uncle at Entshonalanga, Tembisa, with his mother. He had arrived from Zimbabwe three days before his disappearance on August 25.
“He was playing outside with other kids when he told them he was going back to the house. I was checking on him frequently, but at around 4.30pm when I went to call him so we could leave, he was nowhere to be found.
“I asked the other children where Ngqabutho was and they told me he had told them he was going back to the house.”
By Sunday afternoon, police spokeswoman Lieutenant-Colonel Katlego Mogale had not replied to queries forwarded to her on Friday.