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Pretoria - A teenager felt so aggrieved and humiliated after a police constable allegedly told her that she was ugly and looked like a man that she instituted a R150 000 in damages claim against the Minister of Police and against the offending SAPS member.
The minor schoolgirl, whose age is not stated in papers before the Pretoria High Court, was assisted in the proceedings by her father. The man, not identified to protect his daughter, also instituted a R484 000 damages claim against the police.
He claimed the constable also “insulted” his private parts, called him a dagga smoker and a thief, and caused him to be locked up overnight in a cell full of other inmates.
The father has since died, and the bulk of his claim has been withdrawn. His wife, the executor of his estate, is only proceeding with a claim of R7 000, which she claimed the police stole from her husband when they illegally searched their home.
The family claimed their ordeal started early on the morning of June 25, 2009, when the police knocked on the door of their Kwaggafontein home in Mpumalanga.
According to papers they accused the father of having stolen some items from the constable’s house. He said he was called a thief, was insulted, and the police pointed a firearm at him. His daughter, who was also at home, was apparently told she was ugly and looked like a man.
According to the statement the police searched the house and stole R7 000 in cash that was stashed in the house. Before leaving, the constable told the father that if he was ever arrested he would not leave the police cells alive.
The man laid a charge of theft against the police and they were back two days later to arrest him on “false charges” of housebreaking. The court was told that when the man got to the police cells, he was told by the other inmates that they were warned by the constable that he was “problematic”.
The man was released the next day and the prosecutor refused to prosecute him. The police denied calling the teenager ugly and said her father was arrested on reasonable suspicion that he had committed a crime.
The court postponed the matter indefinitely on Thursday.