Durban - A police constable who was allegedly called a “street person”, “low life” and “idiot”, and subjected to harassment and violent threats, finally has some relief.
Durban High Court Judge Justice Mahendra Chetty last week granted her application to be transferred from the King Shaka International Airport Police Service, to KwaMashu following months of “mental torment”.
Constable Kasavani Munsamy, 33, of Sunford, Phoenix, was supported in her court bid by her sisters, Saraspathie Munsamy and Eagavani Munsamy and her mother Vanitharukshna Munsamy.
Cited as respondents were minister of police, national commissioner of the SAPS, divisional commissioner of the SAPS, King Shaka International SAPS station commander BJ Makhathini, Dayalan Naidoo, R Singh, Sharon Moodley and DC Kriel.
In papers filed in the high court by Mumsamy’s attorney Rajesh Hiralall, she recalled a litany of events, allegedly perpetrated by some of her colleagues, that led to mental and physical health issues, and which also triggered a bipolar disorder.
She was accused of being absent from her post, was insulted in front of the public, and had charges of common assault and crimen injuria levelled against her.
Munsamy said she was subjected to “mental torment”, which resulted in her suffering with ulcers and constant vomiting since 2014.
“The effect was so bad that I had to be injected with medication as my stomach was too ‘raw’ to hold down medication.
“My bowels and stomach had also become swollen with the pain causing my blood pressure to rise.
“I have chest pains and the stress affected my menstrual cycle, which caused me to suffer from tension headaches and nosebleeds.
“I was referred to a clinical psychologist, who found that my condition was stress-related,” said Munsamy.
She detailed the incidents leading to the urgent application being made, which included allegations that her family was also victimised.
Munsamy, who had joined the SAPS in 2008 and worked in the operational response services division, said her ordeal started in 2014 after an officer, Dhayalan Naidoo, who held the rank of sergeant and was a sector commander at the time, accused her of being absent from her post.
He allegedly berated, insulted and raised his voice at her in front of members of the public.
“He instituted both a criminal complaint of common assault and crimen injuria and an internal complaint of misconduct against me. These complaints were unfounded,” said Munsamy.
She further stated that the complaints had to be lodged with the relevant relief commander. However, Naidoo allegedly reported her directly to the station commander.
“I was called into Makhathini’s office on January 20, 2014.
“Naidoo and Makhathini proceeded to abuse and berate me and called me names such as a ‘street person’, ‘idiot’ and ‘low life’. Makhathini also threatened to ensure I ‘do not continue to wear the uniform’.”
Munsamy said the ordeal continued for three hours, allegedly without her having food or water and she was not allowed to provide her account of the altercation.
She was also told to surrender her firearm.
“Despite my requests, she (Makhathini) expressly refused to provide me with any reason for withdrawing my firearm.
“This would be the first of many occasions whereby Makhathini would use my firearm to threaten and harass me.”
Munsamy further claimed that the next day Makhathini again called her into the office and removed her cellphone and car keys from her pocket and proceeded to browse through her cellphone while detaining her in the office for two hours.
“She continued to berate, belittle and laugh at me during this time.
“She also demanded for my firearm again. I told her it was at home.
“She demanded I collect it immediately and threatened to break down the gate and shoot out the door of my home to confiscate it.”
She claimed Naidoo and two other respondents, R Singh and Sharon Moodley, a captain on duty during her shift, sought to orchestrate her dismissal from the SAPS or drive her to resign.
“They would frequently attempt to provoke me to act in a way, so that I could be subjected to disciplinary proceedings,” Munsamy added.
She also claimed that Moodley had become aggressive and demeaning towards her, singling her out during parades or meetings and swearing at her in front of co-workers.
She also claimed Moodley would insult her sister, Saraspathie (second applicant), who was also employed by the SAPS.
“Moodley would call her derogatory names These actions caused me distress to an extent that I would become nauseated and vomit.”
Munsamy alleged her family had been constantly harassed telephonically and that during such calls they were sworn at and their lives and safety were threatened.
She claimed her sister Eagavani (third applicant) had been followed by Moodley, while walking to their home from a shop.
Moodley allegedly parked in the driveway and played loud music until their mother (fourth applicant) came outside.
She allegedly then showed her the "middle finger" and drove off.
Munsamy added that Saraspthie was sent vulgar pornographic material and received threatening phone calls.
“The caller swore at her, called her a ‘rat b**ch’ and threatened to kill her if she did not ‘stay away from my business with your sister’.
"The calls continued until she refused to answer the phone. They then proceeded to call her work phone and had said, ‘you s**t, why aren’t you answering the phone, you know when I call you must answer, tell your sister days are numbered on this earth.
"She won’t escape with her transfer'," alleged Munsamy.
She further alleged her mother received a call from a person, who they believed to be Makhathini saying: “I am going to kill your daughter. Give her to us. Your misery will stop.”
Munsamy also added that a bullet, which was left near their home, had been found by Eagavani.
The respondents who were given five days to file opposing affidavits, had not done so by the return date of January 26.