Rape survivor says police told her to investigate her own case
Cape Town - A rape survivor has told of the secondary abuse she allegedly suffered at the hands of Site B police in Khayelitsha who she claims told her that she looked “too relaxed” and that she should investigate her own rape case, when she tried to report the matter.
The woman, who wants to remain anonymous for fear of further victimisation, said she was at a popular recreational establishment in Khayelitsha on March 27 when she and a friend met the man who later that evening sexually and physically assaulted her.
“I was with my friend that evening when she introduced me to the suspect. My friend and I then went to the bathroom and left our drinks with him.
“When we returned he said he was leaving and would be back at 10pm and would take us home.
“He came back and the last thing I remember was being in his car alone and he said he would take me home, but he didn’t,” she said.
The woman, who is in her twenties, said she was then assaulted by the suspect, who threatened to kill her.
She believes she is lucky to have survived.
“I asked him why he was driving fast but he told me to keep quiet... he started hitting me and stopped at a deserted area and that’s when he raped me. I was so terrified and did everything that he told me to do. I thought about the pain of dying and couldn’t believe what was happening.
“He said he was going to kill me. I was asking for forgiveness even though I did nothing to him,” she said.
The next day she went to the Site B police station in Khayelitsha to report the incident. But an officer allegedly told her that she needed to find the suspect and conduct her own investigations.
“The officers took down my statement and at 9am we went to the suspect’s house, but we did not find him. The officers then said I did not look like someone who had been through a traumatic experience. I looked ‘too relaxed’. They then said my friend and I must try and trap the suspect and I must investigate when he would be home and (establish) his whereabouts so they could arrest him, but my friend was too terrified to do so as the suspect is a dangerous man,” she said.
Police spokesperson Andre Traut said police took the allegations seriously and would investigate.
“Please be advised that Gender Based Violence is a top priority for the Western Cape police and the allegation made against our members is not taken lightly.
“Kindly encourage your source to approach the management of Khayelitsha police station to report the alleged ill treatment, so that the circumstances can be investigated.
“Once this investigation has been concluded, this office will be able to provide you with a comment on the matter,” he said.
Traut said the rape case was under investigation by the Khayelitsha FCS (Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences unit) and no one has been arrested.
Human rights organisation Ilitha Labantu’s spokesperson Siya Monakali said: “It is sad that SAPS is negligent when it comes to matters of this nature. We appeal to the authorities to investigate this case further as this is not the first incident to take place at a police station in Khayelitsha. We’ll do our own follow-up as they need to take accountability.”