Cops warned not to turn away victims of rape at police stations
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Cape Town - The police ombudsman has now entered the fray about the young woman who was raped in a taxi and turned away at the Goodwood police station, saying she should have been helped at the first station she tried to report the matter at.
“The National Instruction of the South African Police Service states that when a crime or alleged crime is reported at a police station or to a member on patrol attending to complaints, irrespective of whether the crime was committed in the station area of that police station or the station area of another police station, the member receiving the report must interview the complainant and open a case docket. It is thus irregular to refer complainants to another station,” said ombudsman spokesperson Deirdre Foster.
Kelly, (not her real name) tried to report the rape at the Goodwood police station but was told she could not be assisted as the station falls outside the area of jurisdiction where the alleged crime was committed. She was told to report the incident at the Kuils River police station.
It’s been almost three weeks since the rape and no arrests have been made despite police knowing what the driver looks like. SAPS were able to acquire video footage of the man from Vangate Mall where he withdrew R3300 from the woman’s bank account. Kelly, was raped by the “gaatjie” on October 1, outside the mall while the driver was withdrawing cash at an ATM inside the mall. Kelly and her colleague were taken on a hellish taxi ride as they were making their way from work (Bellville North) home (Eerste River).
In the exclusive story published by Weekend Argus last week, Kelly told the story of how she and her friend and colleague were driven around the northern suburbs in search of a Capitec ATM so they could withdraw money from the preschool assistant teacher’s account.
Her friend, was forced at gunpoint, to accompany the driver to the ATM to withdraw the cash. Police have video footage of the driver and have his nickname but still no arrests have been made.
The pair were dropped off close to Voortrekker Road and given R100 by the taxi driver to make their way home after their ordeal.
Goodwood police have launched an investigation into why the two already-traumatised women were turned away when they were most in need of help. Kelly said that she was visited by three police officers this week from the Goodwood police station to inform her of the investigation.
“I feel like something is being done but I don’t understand why they have not arrested anyone, especially because they have the video footage. I sit in the taxi and I hear people talking about the story and I just go into my own world. They don’t even know that they are talking about me,” said Kelly.
Police spokesperson Colonel Andre Traut said that all police stations have the facilities to assist survivors of crimes.
“Kindly be advised that all of the police stations in the Western Cape have 24-hour operational Victim Support Rooms where victims can be assisted,” said Traut in an email.
Traut said images of the suspects will be released at a later stage.