“Just another drunk girl.” That is how a Rondebosch police officer allegedly referred to Sanet de Lange when her family wanted to lodge a complaint after she had been brutally assaulted.
The teenager’s brother, Marius Strydom, was taken aback and angered by the attitude of a police officer, named Goliath.
“He kept on emphasising that she was just another drunk girl. He went on and said ‘for what do you want to make a charge’,” Strydom said yesterday.
He had gone to the police station to lodge a complaint after Sanet, 18, was allegedly attacked by a metered-taxi driver and an accomplice in the early hours of Friday.
The family has since hired a private investigator, fearing Sanet’s case would not be given the necessary attention.
On Thursday night, Sanet went to party with her friends at Tiger Tiger in Claremont.
Her friends had called it a night at around 4am while she stayed on. When she left Tiger Tiger, she got into a metered taxi to take her home to Welgelegen. Her recollection is hazy, but she says she became uncomfortable and scared inside the cab. She remembers that the driver and his friend had started arguing.
She could not remember if they had attacked her in the taxi but, filled with fear, she had jumped out in Rondebosch. The two men then chased after her, with one ending up dragging her. Both men then pinned her down, kicking and hitting her, Sanet said.
She fought back, managed to break free and ran for her life. She then hid under a pile of leaves, where she passed out, she said.
Hours later a Rondebosch police unit on a routine patrol spotted her bright-red jacket. She was still dressed in her jeans and takkies.
They called an ambulance and she was rushed to Groote Schuur Hospital. A nursing sister recognised her and called her mother. She was transferred to Panorama Hospital and discharged on Saturday.
Police spokesperson Tembinkosi Kinana confirmed that Rondebosch police had found her and called an ambulance. Kinana said the Wynberg police cluster commander would investigate why a case was not registered.
The girl’s mother, also named Sanet, said her daughter was meant to have slept over at a friend’s house.
“I got such a shock when she said my daughter was in hospital,” her mother said.
The teenager sustained a number of wounds, including a deep gash to her head, which needed more than 10 stitches, and concussion.
“She put up a big fight. She is stubborn and that is what saved her,” her mother said.
De Lange said while her daughter had been drinking, she was still alert enough to realise she was in danger and acted accordingly.
De Lange said the private investigator has arranged to view CCTV camera footage in the hope of identifying her assailants.
Western Cape Metered Taxi Council chairperson Aldino Muller said many pirate taxis operated in that area.
He said people have a right to ask to see the driver’s operating licence, which should be available. The taxi should also have an operating licence sticker.