Woman nearly gives birth on police cell floor

2016-09-07 11:46

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Cape Town - A heavily pregnant woman nearly gave birth on the dirty floor of a police station cell after officers allegedly refused to help her.

Netwerk24 reported that Joëlle Levett, 36, was arrested at 11:00 on Thursday on the smallholding where she lives with her life partner Mark Viviers, after dagga was found in their house. She was taken to the Durbanville police station.

Levett said that she begged for help when she went into labour, but police officers continued preparing documents for her court appearance and held her in the cell for eight hours. She said the floor of the cell was covered in urine.

According to Levett, the officers told her she was a "tik head" and treated her inhumanely. She said they told the paramedics that she was faking it when they finally arrived.

She said, at some point, an officer threatened to keep her in the cells for the weekend.

Her baby girl was born only 12 minutes after her arrival at Tygerberg Hospital. Staff at the hospital were still preparing the theatre for a caesarean to help deliver the baby - who was in a breech position and had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck - when Levett gave birth naturally.   

Dagga on the floor

Levett was home alone when the Durbanville police's crime prevention unit arrived at the house in Mikpunt on Thursday - apparently without a warrant.

They searched the property and found dagga on the floor.

"I told them I didn't know where it came from. I don't smoke dagga," said Levett.

She told Netwerk24 she suspects the dagga was "planted" there and suggested that a feud with a neighbour might be the reason.

Lieutenant-Colonel Theo Fisher of the Durbanville police told Netwerk24 that the crime prevention unit was sent to the property after they received a tip-off that dagga was being sold there.

According to the Durbanville police, they found between 50g and 60g of dagga.

Fisher said, after a sonar image was shown to the station commander, the magistrate on duty at the Bellville court was contacted and an ambulance was called. The case has been scrapped provisionally.

Levett's lawyer Ian Murray said the couple was considering taking legal steps against the police.

Read more on:    police  |  cape town

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