Laingsburg cop accused of raping woman in police cell

2016-11-29 17:22

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Cape Town – A police officer allegedly raped a woman who was being held in the Laingsburg police cells for theft at the weekend, a rights activist said on Tuesday.

The woman, said to be 20, was apparently threatened with a firearm on Friday night before being raped.

Anti-abuse activist Lucinda Evans said someone had tracked her down in Lavender Hill, Cape Town, 280km from the rural town, and alerted her to the incident via text messages.

"We are livid, to say the least. On the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children, for this to happen in a place of safety? How safe are women really when they end up at the police station?"

Through her network, she was able to talk to the woman over the phone briefly. She was apparently admitted to hospital because of her injuries. Evans said she was comfortable and the relevant medical protocol had been followed.

Evans demanded that the officer is suspended and taken off the streets without delay.

By Tuesday afternoon, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) said no one had been arrested.

Spokesperson Moses Dlamini said they would conduct an ID parade by Friday to identify the suspect.

It was not immediately clear what had led to the woman being arrested for theft and why she was detained alone.

"While she was still in the police cells, a police official entered and went straight to her. He grabbed, kissed and undressed her. They struggled with each other," said Dlamini.

The officer’s firearm apparently fell in the struggle. He allegedly grabbed it, pointed it at her, and told her he would shoot her if she cried.

She opened a case of rape the next day.

Evans, who runs the non-profit organisation Philisa Abafazi Bethu, said many people complained about secondary victimisation at police stations. 

She would keep a close eye on the investigation and make sure the woman was supported. 

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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