The alleged rape of a 29-year-old man, a suspected shoplifter, by a 31-year-old police officer from Nyanga has communities worried about the involvement of police in crime. Picture: SAPS
The alleged rape of a 29-year-old man, a suspected shoplifter, by a 31-year-old police officer from Nyanga has communities worried about the involvement of police in crime. Picture: SAPS

Alleged police rapist sparks fear of more SAPS cops being involved in crimes

By Sisonke Mlamla Time of article published Dec 7, 2021

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Cape Town - The alleged rape of a 29-year-old man, a suspected shoplifter, by a 31-year-old police officer from Nyanga has communities worried about the involvement of police in crime.

The officer, who was arrested on Sunday, is expected to appear in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court today.

Police spokesperson Novela Potelwa said the provincial police management had summarily suspended the officer charged for the alleged rape.

Potelwa said the arrest followed an Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) investigation into allegations that the police constable had raped the man in a police van.

She said due to the seriousness of the allegations levelled against the constable, “an expeditious internal disciplinary process into the fitness of the member to be in the police has been initiated”.

Ipid spokesperson Grace Langa said the victim was at the Jet store at Junction Mall where security suspected that he wanted to steal clothing.

Langa said the police were called and on arrival they handcuffed and assaulted the man, put him at the back of the police van and transported him to Browns Farm satellite office, where police passengers got out and the driver drove with him to Nyanga police station.

Langa said the driver picked up a woman officer and dropped her off at Crossroads, then drove with the victim to bushes near the airport where he stopped and opened the door, telling the victim to kneel while he was still in the police vehicle handcuffed from the back.

She said he allegedly put a gun against the victim’s stomach, pulled down his pants and started playing with his private parts while playing a porn video from the phone and telling him to watch.

“He then turned him around and penetrated his private part into the victim and, when he was done, he drove with him to his address in Khayelitsha, where he removed his police uniform and later took the victim home to Gugulethu,” said Langa.

She said the victim allegedly contacted his cousin, a police officer, and requested him to come to his house so he could tell him what had happened.

Nyanga community police forum chairperson Martin Makhasi said the fear of communities was justified since the perpetrator was a police officer and communities depended on the police for their safety.

Makhasi said the officer’s actions were unacceptable and he hoped that police management would work harder to reassure communities that they were there to protect them.

Parliament’s portfolio committee on police chairperson, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, said the relationship between the police and the community has been harmed by such abuses of power by some rotten elements within the police.

“We therefore believe that the suspect must be prosecuted to set an example to other police officers inclined to perpetrate such heinous acts,” Joemat-Pettersson said.

SA Policing Union spokesperson Lesiba Thobakgale said it was important to allow lawful processes to unfold to determine the merits and findings of each allegation labelled against any member.

“We are very concerned about such allegations against police officials, considering that we are in the midst of 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence,” Thobakgale said.

The Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz’s spokesperson, Wade Seale, said they were reluctant at this stage, to infer any trends or systemic challenges of rape allegations specifically by police officers, on the basis of the cases before them, as they continued to monitor developments.

Anyone with information can contact Crime Stop anonymously at 08600 10111 or via the MySAPSApp.

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