Cop assaults grieving mother

2008-08-10 00:00

A PIETERMARITZBURG policeman was arrested on charges of sexually assaulting a 32-year-old woman at the Copesville satellite police station. She had gone there in desperation to seek help for her sick baby, who died minutes later at the police station.

The grieving woman was allegedly sexually assaulted while holding the body of her dead baby and waiting for a mortuary van.

The police inspector, whose name is known to The Witness, but cannot be named as he has not pleaded to the charges, was arrested on August 2 following an identity parade.

“He was suspended immediately after the arrest. But he will be served with suspension papers during the course of the week,” said police spokeswoman Inspector Joey Jeevan.

The woman told The Witness that her ordeal, which lasted for almost an hour, took place in the reception area of the police station on the night of July 29.

The unemployed mother of three from Swapo informal settlement said she went to the station to ask police to call an ambulance for her sick three-month-old baby boy.

It was while waiting for the ambulance that the inspector first demanded sexual favours.

The policeman also allegedly told four other women who accompanied her to return home and leave her and the baby behind.

“I was shocked at what he asked me to do. He told me not to worry because he had condoms.

“I told him that I don’t sleep around, but he kept insisting on having sex with me. He later loosened his belt and unzipped his trousers to expose his private parts.”

She said the policeman only stopped his demands after the arrival of the ambulance.

After examining the child, paramedics told her that the child had died a few minutes earlier.

They asked the inspector to call for a mortuary van before they left.

Hysterically crying over losing her baby, the woman waited at the reception of the police station reception clutching her child’s body.

That however, did not deter the policeman, who continued making sexual advances.

“The police officer phoned the mortuary van and told me to put child on the bench, and to stop crying. I refused to put the child down. He fondled my private parts. He tried to grab my child from me, but I held on.

“He again loosened his belt and unzipped his trousers to expose his private parts.” She said the policeman grabbed her head and tried to force her to perform oral sex.

The inspector threatened to kick her out of the police station if she did not comply. “I told him that I was not going to leave the police station until the mortuary van arrived.”

The mortuary van arrived and collected the body, leaving the woman behind with her alleged attacker.

The suspect then phoned for a police van to take her home.

The woman spent the next two days visiting the mortuary and only reported the assault on August 1 at the Mountain Rise police station.

“I had to lay the charges because what he did to me was more traumatic than losing a baby,” she said.

On August 2 police officers transported the woman and two others, who were with her on the day of the alleged incident, to the Hilton police station for an identity parade.

All three positively identified the suspect among 10 other men.

Jeevan said the suspect, who is out on a bail of R1 000, was arrested while on duty at the police station and suspended immediately.

“In terms of section 43 of the Police Service Act we had to suspend him. He will make his second court appearance in court on September 10.”

The woman’s son will be buried on Wednesday.

bhans@witness.co.za

Related link

Cops on charges: Almost 2 000 cases

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