Cop told wounded, traumatised GBV activist to stand aside for not wearing a mask
Cape Town - Severely wounded and traumatised from being attacked with a hammer allegedly by her boyfriend, 22-year-old Wendy Dyubeni has told of how a female police officer asked her to “stand aside” because she was not wearing a mask.
Dyubeni said she was told by SAPS officers on Monday to go to the clinic before she could lodge a complaint at the Philippi Browns Farm satellite police station, according to Pamela Nobumba, project co-ordinator of gender-based violence and femicide in sector 4 of ward 34 in Browns Farm.
She was left with gashes on her head and stitches on her mouth on Sunday evening after she was allegedly assaulted by her boyfriend of three months.
She said when she went to report the ordeal at the police station, she was asked to stand aside by a female police officer because she was not wearing a mask.
She was later given a form and told to attend the clinic and then return to the station.
“He (boyfriend) fetches me at home daily. I am scared of him. The only option I have now if I want to leave him is to move to a different location for my safety,” she said.
Police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk said a case of assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm was opened for investigation, with no arrests yet “after a 22-year-old woman was assaulted with a hammer by her boyfriend in Albert Luthuli Street in Browns Farm”.
About the officers’ conduct, Van Wyk said: “Your source (complainant) is encouraged to lodge a complaint with police management or Ipid so that the allegations can be investigated. The alleged behaviour by our members will not be tolerated and we will take appropriate action if the allegations can be substantiated.”
Nobumba accompanied Dyubeni to the police station on Monday.
She said with the assistance of the community, Dyubeni managed to escape from her boyfriend on Monday.
“Her boyfriend would beat her up and lock her in the room and not allow her to go to the clinic until her scars were healed. Luckily, the neighbours responded to her screams this time because always when she was screaming, the neighbours would not respond.
“If he can’t find her, he is not afraid to go to her house and check if she is not really there. Both families are scared of him. On Monday, when she opened a case and was told to go to the clinic, I sent a query to the police asking why they didn’t even put her in a police van and escort her there,” she said.
Nobumba said the service from the police station had put Dyubeni in danger.
“My problem is, what if she had met the perpetrator on the way there, and he killed her because she took a step to report him? The constable said she was alone and had no vehicle and the police station’s phone was off,” she said.
She said they were going to put Dyubeni in a counselling programme this week.
Philippi Community Policing Forum deputy chairperson Michael Bongani said they would follow up on the case.
“We would like to sensitise our fellow brothers to please desist from these kinds of behaviour as it is not helping but perpetuates the domination of women by man.”
Separately, City Law Enforcement Tourism Unit members en route to work were flagged down by Mfuleni residents on Tuesday and informed that an 18-year-old woman had been kidnapped and raped on Saturday.
Law Enforcement Principal Inspector Wayne Dyason said: “She was abducted on Saturday by her attacker and was found yesterday (on Tuesday) when the suspect was arrested.
“Her friend told her parents where they saw her.
“When they went to investigate the claim, a local business owner told the parents that he had seen the girl with the rapist; that’s why the police officers had been flagged down.”