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Cape Town – The Grassy Park police officer charged with the rape of a suspect while she was in custody has been linked to the crime by his DNA.

The officer, Enkhosi Matiwane, who has yet to be suspended by the SAPS for the alleged 2016 incident, appeared before Wynberg magistrate Goolam Bawa on Thursday.

He had allegedly raped a suspect arrested for shoplifting.

The matter has been postponed to April 29 for consultation and further investigation.

Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) spokesperson Moses Dlamini said the matter was being investigated and that the officer was still on active duty at the Grassy Park police station.

“This incident occurred in 2016. (A) departmental hearing took place (on Wednesday). He is still working for the police,” Dlamini said.

Asked to comment on action the police had taken against one of their own, police spokesperson FC van Wyk said: “The question you (are) asking falls within the ambit of relations between employer and employee. Unfortunately, the SAPS does not share that in the public domain.”

When pressed for comment, he did not respond.

Grassy Park Community Policing Forum (CPF) spokesperson Philip Bam said they had learnt with shock about the case against the officer through the media.

“It happened at the holding cells where the CPF used to do cell visitations, where we checked on the well-being of detainees. This service was discontinued and unfortunately, civilian insight to the conditions detainees were kept under could no longer be monitored.

“We cannot understand how somebody who has appeared in court on such a serious charge has not yet been suspended. We can understand that you are innocent until proven guilty but the officer should not be allowed to be at the police station where he has access to information and documents.”

Bam said the CPF would be meeting with the Grassy Park police station commander to address their concerns.

“It must be said that this is totally unacceptable that those who are there to serve and protect then (pose a threat to the public). We are very worried about this,” Bam said.

The case came to light weeks after a senior officer at the Bellville police station was charged for the alleged rape of a sex worker.

According to the sex worker, a man pulled up alongside her in a car in Boston last month, identified himself as a police officer and threatened to arrest her for prostitution.

The officer then allegedly asked the woman to perform oral sex on him. The officer then allegedly went on to penetrate the woman with his fingers.

Cape Times