Politician's wife probe - DA wants answers

2011-06-29 21:37

Johannesburg - The Democratic Alliance has written to Gauteng police commissioner Mzwandile Petros to ask why it was taking so long to investigate allegations of assault, reckless driving and theft against the wife of a Gauteng politician.

DA spokesperson Kate Lorimer said: "I have written to Gauteng Police Commissioner Mzwandile Petros questioning why the investigation of this case appears to have ground to a standstill."

According to Lorimer, the woman clipped a 15-year-old with her side mirror in Buccleuch on March 18.

After the accident, the woman allegedly confronted the girl over damage to the side mirror and took her and her twin sister's bag and cellphone.

When they went to the police to report the matter, the officer on duty allegedly tried to convince them not to open a case against the woman.

Lorimer said that according to the complainants, this was in spite of the bag and cellphone being in the car. The officer also allegedly would not do a blood alcohol test after one of the girls said the woman's breath smelled of liquor.

The DA wants Petros to establish at what stage the investigation is, why the officer would not open a case, and why the woman was not arrested.

The girls eventually were able to open a case at the Sandton police station.

Reluctance

In response to e-mailed questions providing the case number given to the DA, Gauteng police spokesperson Brigadier Neville Malila said a case docket of reckless and negligent driving was opened and after an investigation the case docket was sent to the senior state prosecutor for a decision on whether to proceed with the matter.

The complainant has been contacted by the station commander and the detective commander and the three have met.

Malila said the station commander and detective commander had also responded to the complainant via SMS and telephone and he was informed that the matter had been sent to the public prosecutor.

An internal investigation was underway regarding the allegations that the policeman tried to convince the girls' parents not to open a case and that had not been finalised yet.

The departmental charge was failure to carry out a lawful order or routine instruction without just/reasonable cause (failure to open the docket for the complainant).

"In the investigation of crime, the SAPS does not look at profile, political affiliation or status of complainants or suspects when crimes are reported for investigation as everyone is equal before the law," said Malila.

He added: "This is the second time the docket was sent as the prosecutor returned it with queries after the first submission.

"One of the enquiries was tracing a witness in [KwaZulu-Natal], as well as obtaining a statement from a [second] witness who was very reluctant to give such a statement. The docket was resubmitted for a decision on 2 June 2011."

The police's provincial office received Lorimer's request on Tuesday afternoon and will respond to her.

- SAPA
Read more on:    police  |  da  |  mzwandile petros  |  kate lorimer
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