DURBAN - A woman was allegedly raped by a police officer inside a police station in KwaZulu-Natal.
The incident left KZN Department of Social Development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza shocked and disgusted by the allegation of rape in the KwaHlabisa police station, northern KZN.
The department said that a woman had an argument with her boyfriend who forced her to leave the house. The woman approached the police to plead with them to rescue her, and a police vehicle was dispatched to fetch her the next day.
“Unfortunately, while she was in the police station, it is alleged that one police officer who was on duty started harassing her, demanding sex,” the department said.
The officer allegedly stopped when he saw a fellow police officer approaching them. When the other cop returned to his vehicle, the officer remaining in the community service centre raped the woman.
“It is alleged that the officer threatened to shoot the victim with a service pistol should she scream or report the rape case,” the department said.
The victim made an appeal for help through Nongoma Community Radio Station, as she was severely traumatised.
“It is very disappointing that the people who are mandated by law to protect the victim, ended up inflicting more pain on her. Such officers are an embarrassment to our society and must be treated as the criminals that they are,” Khoza said.
She said she was shocked that an officer of the law could have the audacity to rape a victim of gender-based violence and then threaten to kill her if she tries to report the case.
“Our team of social workers is going to help the victim to open a case and we will see to it that the matter is thoroughly investigated by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate, but in the meantime, police management should take action against the accused officer,” Khoza said.
The MEC said she wanted to see the KwaZulu-Natal police management institute an internal disciplinary process against the officer in question.
“If we were to be serious about fighting gender-based violence, we can't let such cases be ignored,” Khoza said.
She said she would be in contact with her counterparts, Department of Transport, Community Safety and Liaison MEC Peggy Nkonyeni and Police Minister Bheki Cele to intervene in this case.
The MEC sent a team of social workers to help the victim open a rape case, since she had been told by police at Mtubatuba that she could not open it there, but needed to report it to management at KwaHlabisa where the alleged rape took place.
“Our social workers will meet the victim so she can provide more details of her ordeal. They will also administer psycho-social support and prepare her to register a case with solid evidence to secure a conviction in court,” Khoza added.