Cops face disciplinary action for sending taxi rape victim from pillar to post
Cape Town - The Western Cape police ombudsman has found against Goodwood police officers after they turned away a woman who was raped at gunpoint inside a taxi.
After the incident in October, Kelly (not her real name) was sent from Goodwood police station to Bellville before the case was transferred to Kuils River police station. The Weekend Argus is in possession of the findings by the police ombudsman which states a preliminary investigation was conducted into the allegations and wrongdoing was found on the part of SAPS.
“Disciplinary steps have been initiated against the members concerned. The outcome has been communicated to the provincial commissioner of SAPS,” says
Kelly told the Weekend Argus it was almost three months and she did not receive much feedback from the police, except for an officer at Goodwood SAPS who allegedly asked her if she was going ahead with the case.
She is at her wits’ end and feels that she won’t get justice.
“I gave them so much information and still they have not been able to do anything. I want justice, I want to live my life. I can’t go on knowing they are still walking around free. What if they see me again? That is my main concern.
“I’m still in fear,” said Kelly. “There was a time I wanted to drink all my sleeping pills because I felt I am no longer a woman.
“The only thing that kept me from doing it were my two children.
“The police don’t care about me as a rape victim. This is how I feel after this incident.”
Police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk refuted the claim the police asked whether she wanted to drop the case.
He said the case was still under investigation and the complainant was frequently updated.
“The suspects are unknown. CCTV footage was obtained and distributed in the media without success.
“The investigating officer is still following leads. The DNA is still outstanding. The Commander of Kuils River FCS and the investigating officer said neither of them made contact with the victim to ask whether she was still interested in proceeding with the criminal case,” Van Wyk said.
“The victim was contacted by telephone to get clarity with regards to the phone call she received but she did not answer. The disciplinary against members of Goodwood SAPS is being investigated. If the complainant feels unhappy about the investigating officer from Kuils River FCS she may direct a complaint to this office,” he said.
Calling to check on the case has drained Kelly emotionally.
“I was told they (the police) found the taxi I was raped in but it was burnt out. It was burnt about a month and two weeks after the incident. Only the taxi I was raped in was burnt and the other one was fine. I have to keep calling the police and now it’s a new year. I will try my very best I’m scared every day of my life. I just keep a happy face so that nobody can see the hurt on my face, that guy broke me and I have to live with it every day.
“I know that they don’t only have my case to work on but at least just let me know,” said Kelly.
Mara Glennie, founder and director of gender-based violence advocacy NPO, Tears Foundation, said people exposed to sexual violence often feel their lives
have changed forever and that they would never come to terms with the trauma.
“The many myths surrounding sexual violence only add to a survivor’s anxiety and often prevent them from sharing their experience, even those they are close to.
“They fear they will be blamed or people will not believe them,” she said.
“The National Instruction of the SAPS 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 Deidre Foster.
* Victims can contact Tears at *134*7355# [email protected] or Rape Crisis’ 24-hour helpline: 021 447 9762.