KZN Social Development MEC says law enforcement must be accountable for assault on woman for allegedly not wearing a mask
Share this article:
DURBAN - KWAZULU-NATAL MEC for Social Development, Nonhlanhla Khoza, has called for accountability from law enforcement officers following the assault of 30-year-old Zandile Thusi earlier this year for allegedly not complying with Covid-19 regulations.
It is alleged that Thusi was walking in KwaMaphumulo Shopping Complex in northern KwaZulu-Natal when she was attacked by a police officer, after being accused of not wearing a mask.
In response, she explained that her hands were full of groceries, and therefore she could not pull up her mask. This allegedly aggravated the situation, leading to the officer assaulting her with the butt of his gun, in the presence of her 8-year-old child.
The officer allegedly dragged her into the SAPS Community Service Centre, where she was stripped naked and beaten.
Thusi was kept in a cell and only managed to get medical help the following day, after she was released.
Spokesperson for the KZN MEC for Social Development, Mhlaba Memela, said: “It is very disappointing to hear what happened. Police are supposed to be custodians of the citizens and also protect women from domestic violence, rape and all other crimes aimed at them, however, what has transpired goes against the mandate.”
He added that the MEC was alerted to the case after the victim wrote on Khoza’s Facebook wall requesting for her intervention in the matter on Monday, following a series of visits to doctors, an operation and lack of progress in her case.
He said Khoza assigned social workers to speak with Thusi and their report painted a painful picture.
He added that they are particularly disappointed by the fact that the alleged perpetrator was still in his job and that management had not acted.
Thusi said that the incident took place on January 27. She said she reported the matter via email to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) on February 5 and later opened a case at the Maphumulo police station.
“I was afraid of going to open the case at Maphumulo police station after what had transpired, but I eventually did, after I couldn’t lodge one with Ipid. Ipid did say that I should in them if I got any issues with lodging my case at Maphumulo police station, fortunately they opened it, and assigned an investigator, who has not been forthcoming with updates.”