Woman accuses cop of assault

2009-12-30 00:00

AN officer at the scandal-ridden Mountain Rise police station is facing an allegation that he assaulted a woman and her son and daughter during a family dispute on Christmas Eve.

The station’s former commander, Harriram Badul, recently appeared in court on suspicion that he is the leader of a scam in which he, three other policemen, a clerk at the Mountain Rise police station and a businessman defrauded the state of equipment valued at hundreds of thousands of rands.

Banu Maharaj of Northdale said the officer, whose name is known to The Witness, was “drunk as a skunk”.

She claims he verbally abused her and battered her “black and blue”, leaving her with marks on her body and neck.

She said that on Christmas Eve, her son had a squabble with his girlfriend; the girlfriend called her family and the police to collect her.

Maharaj said the officer arrived reeking of alcohol and the girl’s family arrived with about 20 other people.

“When my son’s girlfriend’s family arrived, the policemen told them that they could do as they please and he will not do anything to stop them,” said Maharaj.

She said the girl’s family started trashing her house and broke numerous items of furniture. The officer did not try to stop them, she added.

When she inquired why the officer was behaving like that, she said, he lost his mind.

“He hit me, leaving blue marks on my body, and he pulled me by my hair and grabbed my neck in front of the whole neighbourhood.”

She said the officer then entered her house and began to trash it.

“Inside the house, there is a praying lamp that I used to pray for my husband because he passed away a month ago, and there was also a frame with his picture. He broke them both, calling them ‘nonsense’.”

Maharaj said the officer also assaulted her son with a hammer and used pepper spray on her daughter.

Police spokesman Senior Superintendent Henry Budhram described the allegations as absurd.

He said that when the police arrived, they found a group of people causing a public disturbance. After numerous attempts to control the situation, the officer was forced to use pepper spray and three people were arrested for assault.

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