Concourt to decide minister’s liability for off-duty cops

2011-08-04 09:30

The Constitutional Court today was hearing argument on whether the minister of police could be held vicariously liable for a police officer’s rape of a teenager when he was off duty.

The 13-year-old had gone clubbing but then became stranded after a fallout with friends.

The officer was off duty but in a state vehicle and gave her a lift but she later felt something was wrong and got out of the vehicle.

He later returned and promised to take her home, but instead raped her.

Ms F’s counsel submitted that even though he was off duty, as a police officer he had a duty to protect her.

This was in terms of the code of conduct he had to sign as a police officer, as well as the permission the Criminal Procedure Act gives policemen to prevent crime without a warrant if it is about to happen.

Olivier said the public is also encouraged to trust police officers.

“He has omitted to come with his duties that he took upon himself,” he said.

The court has previously found in favour of a woman who was raped by on-duty police officers who were in uniform.

She was awarded financial compensation for future counselling and her suffering, to be paid by the police.

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