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A senior Hibiscus Coast policeman is alleged to have used a nine-year-old girl at a South Coast shopping centre, to evade his arrest on 15 allegations relating to rape and sexual assault.
Police tracked him to the centre using his cellphone after he refused to tell them where he was.
This emerged on Monday in the Port Shepstone Magistrate’s Court, where the policeman, who is also accused of creating and possessing child pornography, is applying for bail.
The court was told that when he realised police had surrounded the mall, the man grabbed the child and put his other hand on his gun in his holster. While he had seen the police, they had not seen him.
The alleged victims of the sex crimes are two children, including the girl.
The 58-year-old policeman is alleged to have raped a 13-year-old girl more than once last month.
She had attended a sports class where he had been present.
He allegedly assaulted and then raped her.
The policeman is also accused of sexually assaulting the nine-year-old girl since last month, by touching the child and making her hold his genitals.
In respect of the child porn charges he is alleged to have photographed and videotaped children naked, as well as sexual acts, in July and August.
During cross-examination on Monday, the investigating officer, Lieutenant Mandla Cele, said the policeman had evaded arrest on September 6, when they called to find out where he was, as he was not at home or work.
“He insisted on wanting to know why I wanted to see him, not saying where he was. We used the cellphone to track him. He was at the Hibiscus Mall,” Cele said.
Police found his car in the parking lot and they blocked it in.
He said the accused, still in uniform, had intended to see the nine-year-old girl alone, but the mother told him that they had grocery shopping to do at the mall.
Cele said the policeman had wanted to intimidate the girl as he had somehow found out that he was going to be arrested.
“When he came out of the mall, he had been with victim A (the nine-year-old) and the complainant (the mother) and when he saw the police car blocking his (car) he grabbed the child and put his other hand on his gun in his holster and told her it was because of her that the cops were all over,” he said.
He said the policeman then ran to a nearby service station where he made the child’s mother take off her T-shirt and wear his. He put on her shirt in an effort to disguise himself.
“He then phoned his wife to come and pick him up,” Cele said.
The couple drove to Durban and spent the weekend with their daughter, the policeman told the court. He handed himself over to police on Monday last week.
The policeman told the court he had not known he was going to be arrested and “got a fright” and panicked at the mall.
“I panicked when it all fell on me, and in my head I had been trying to do good, but then I heard it is the same person that I was doing good to (who had) opened a case against me. I panicked,” he said.
Opposing bail, Cele said the policeman was a flight risk and was likely to evade trial or interfere with the witnesses.
“He told them that he would shoot them (the nine-year-old child and her mother) and then himself,” Cele said. “He is familiar with the State witnesses. He phoned her (the child) and told her not to tell the police and made her swear on her mother’s death that she wouldn’t. He said this case would be thrown out even if he was arrested.”
Cele said the accused had also travelled extensively internationally and was in contact with people outside South Africa.
“He has a military background, he has military arms that he has exposed the minors to, and they are scared of him,” he said.
Cele said that from his military days the accused knew South Africa’s borders very well, and that despite having handed in his passport, he feared the policeman would evade trial.
The bail application continues on Thursday.