Angry GBV victim says case against her abuser was fraudulently withdrawn at police station
Johannesburg - A Springs gender-based violence (GBV) victim who was allegedly hit and dragged while naked said she was shocked and traumatised after she was shown paperwork that her case had been withdrawn.
The 41-year-old mother of two, who asked to not be identified, has become the latest victim of GBV who believes that law enforcement has let her down.
She told The Star on Monday that her alleged assault happened on October 16 last year, at the home of the man she was staying with in Nigel, Ekurhuleni.
She said that around midnight she was woken by a man, who threatened to pour boiling water on her. The mother said she believed the incident started because she rejected his advances for sex.
“I was sleeping and it was unexpected. He first threatened me with the water and then started hitting me, just like that, before he dragged me outside,” she said.
The woman said she started screaming for help from the man’s neighbour, despite the fact that she was completely naked.
“I did not even have panties on but I needed help. I know in South Africa these things can sometimes lead to murder,” she said.
The mother said she managed to escape and asked her neighbours to watch the man while she tried to call the police. She was then taken to Heidelberg Hospital where she was admitted overnight while the police arrested the man who allegedly attacked her.
The woman said a case was subsequently opened at the Nigel police station, however, she alleged that she was not updated on her case until she sent a complaint to the SAPS Service Complaint Centre on April 7.
“I’ve been out of that area (Nigel) from that time until now because of my safety. I need to be informed so I can get my life back safely,” the woman wrote in the email to the complaint centre seen by The Star.
After her complaint, the woman had a meeting with a captain from the Nigel police station last week.
“I was so happy when she came … However, afterwards I was very traumatised,” she said.
The woman said the officer showed her a copy of a withdrawal of the case document allegedly signed by her on November 26 last year.
“It was signed and had a stamp by the warrant officer and it said that I was going home to Limpopo and putting this matter behind me. It also said I would not be able to watch the matter unfold in court, and it was signed by what looks like my signature,” she said.
The woman, however is originally from the Free State. She said she believed her signature was forged from the statement she made to police on the matter.
“This means I must be in a psychiatric hospital, because why would I enquire about a case that I withdrew in November? I’m not safe and all of us are not safe if this is what the police do with our cases,” she said.
Gauteng provincial police spokesperson Captain Mavela Masondo confirmed that the Nigel police records showed that the woman had submitted a withdrawal statement.
“The complainant can still go to the police station and the case will be reopened,” Masondo said.
The mother added that she could not let this matter slide because she was raising a boy and girl who needed an example of fighting against GBV.