Durban - A Durban pensioner whose car was stolen from outside her flat could have sworn she saw it in the possession of a policeman at the Point police station.
Chumpawathie Rajpal, 64, said her maroon-coloured Nissan Sentra was stolen in June from outside her Tafta Lodge flat in South Beach.
Six weeks after she reported the theft, she was convinced her car was parked outside the entrance to Point SAPS with the number plate changed.
Rajpal made enquiries at the station and learnt that the owner was a policeman.
She said she contacted the police when her car went missing.
“I phoned the police and they sent two cops to take my statement and make copies of my car log book. I went to the station a few weeks later to make enquiries on the progress of the case. I was told a detective was handling it and they would call me,” Rajpal, a former saleswoman, said.
In August, Rajpal was walking past the police station when she spotted her car. Having owned it for seven years, the pensioner said she immediately identified several distinguishing marks on its interior and exterior. Rajpal said the number plate had been changed.
“There was a group of policemen standing outside the entrance to the station. I asked them if they knew the owner. They did not respond.
“I went into the charge office and made some enquires. Then a policeman came out and said it was his car and asked me if I had a problem. I asked him if he bought a stolen car. He pointed at the number plate and told me to look at it. I asked him to open the bonnet so I could check something. He said he was off-duty and I should come back tomorrow.”
Rajpal phoned her son who told her to leave the area because there was no telling what they would do to an old woman. She recorded the number plate down and walked away, fearing for her life. The policeman got into the car and drove off.
The car, when she checked at metro police, had been registered in someone else’s name. The name is known to the Daily News.
Recalling her confrontation with the policeman, Rajpal said: “I explained to him that my car was stolen and being a pensioner it would be hard to replace a car. He said it was his mother’s car and she was also a pensioner.
“My hard-earned money was used to purchase the car. Five attempts were made to steal it. I spent money repairing the locks, ignition and wiring,” Rajpal said.
Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane said no arrest had been made and the vehicle had not been recovered.
Rajpal reported the matter to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate.
Directorate spokesman Moses Dlamini said he would make enquiries with their investigator regarding the allegations.