Sex in the cells

2012-05-23 00:00

A POLICEWOMAN investigating a dangerous criminal got too close to the subject when she was caught having sex with the man at Scottburgh police station.

An internal investigation into the incident is under way and the police­woman has been charged with corruption.

The lovebirds were stark naked, having intercourse, when they were caught by astonished officers on Monday night.

Two sources told The Witness the constable was involved in investigations against the prisoner, an allegation that police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Zandra Wiid declined to confirm or deny.

Wiid said, however, that the officer and prisoner had previously enjoyed an intimate relationship.

The prisoner, Sibusiso Ndaba (33), was arrested in December 2010 for a cash heist in Ixopo.

Ndaba and his co-accused — Edward Sibusiso Mtambo (37), Pumlani Nicholas Khathide (25), Christopher Holisizwe Mtembu (31), Nkosinathi Ndovela (35) and Mduduzi Zondi (37) — appeared in the high court in Ramsgate on Monday.

Their trial on charges of robbery, theft with aggravating circumstances, prohibited possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition was set to start on February 18, 2013.

Wiid said Ndaba’s co-accused were taken back to prison in Umzinto, where they are being held, after their hearing.

Ndaba, who is also being investigated for possible links to a host of other armed robberies and ATM bombings, had banking to do and was escorted by police to a bank.

Wiid said it was common practice for prisoners to access public facilities under supervision.

“It is their constitutional right to be escorted to the facilities they need to make use of.”

However, by the time Ndaba finished at the bank, it was too late to transport him to the prison. He was held overnight at Scottburgh police station instead, where he had his encounter with the constable.

Wiid said the officer was arrested and charged with corruption, while an investigation into how she gained entry to the restricted area where Ndaba was being held was under way.

“If it is found that anyone assisted her, then they will also be arrested,” Wiid added.

The constable cannot be named until she appears in court.

Democratic Alliance police spokesperson Dianne Kohler Barnard said she found it “unbelievable” that a police officer would have sex with a dangerous prisoner.

“How is it that the security at Scott­burgh police station can be so relaxed that a criminal of this nature can be so easily accessed?” she asked.

Barnard called for new management at the station and for the immediate suspension of everyone involved in the incident.

“She did not get access [to Ndaba] on her own. Whoever helped her get there and whoever knew about it must be suspended immediately. It’s like saying to prisoners that they can come to Scott­burgh police station and get sex as a perk. It is an absolute humiliation for those officers who will take a bullet for public safety,” she said.

Johan Botha, senior researcher of crime and justice at the Institute for Security Studies, said the incident called into question the supervision of the cells and restricted areas at the police station. “This case shows that regular inspections of the cell were not done. Someone on duty did not comply with instructions.”

Botha said such incidents compromised public safety and security.

“Surveillance equipment needs to be installed at police stations to observe what is happening in the cells. Obviously it cannot be installed where it will infringe on the privacy of the inmates, but it should be installed in the common areas of the cells.”

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