'They said I was drunk – so they refused to help me’- abuse victim

By Drum Digital
12 July 2017

By Nombulelo Manyana

It should have been a fun night spent chilling with a group of friends.

But for Johannesburg’s Miranda Jacobs, it will remain etched in her memory as one of the worst nights of her life.

Miranda (26) claims she was beaten up by one of the men in the group after an argument in the early hours of Saturday morning over money.

"I remember begging him. I begged him to stop hitting me, I remember just wanting to get out."

On June 23, Miranda and a friend were invited over for a 'chill session' in Morningside, Johannesburg. Upon arrival, they started playing games, talking and drinking with the other people who were at the house.

"There was about 10 of us. We were just having fun," she said.

Later, one of the men asked Miranda for some cab money for his friend’s transport.

"I gave it to him but I made it very clear that I wanted it back because I also needed it to get home. He agreed."

But in the early hours of Saturday morning when she asked for her money back, Miranda claims he refused, and they started arguing.

"I'm not proud that I said this but apparently I said to him 'You will not disrespect me in my country'."

She says she doesn't remember exactly what happened but they were arguing when he allegedly attacked her.

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"He was kicking me, he smashed a glass in my face and continued to beat me until I blacked out. When I woke up, I was on the floor, crawling to the door so I could get out of the apartment."

The man allegedly closed the door and refused to let her out. "He asked how much money I wanted, obviously so I could keep quiet. I remember I kept saying I wouldn't tell anyone, all I wanted was to get out of that place,” says Miranda.

She says when she eventually got out of the apartment, she began banging on neighbours’ doors until one of them opened up and called the police.

But according to Miranda, the police would not help her.

“When the police arrived, I asked the officers if they were going to arrest him and they just laughed in my face,” she claims. “They said they can't do anything because we were under the influence of alcohol.

"I was so angry, I felt alone and violated by these men, these men in uniform. I mean who are we supposed to run to if not them? Who is going to help us, if not them?"

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Miranda was taken by ambulance to hospital that same day. When she was discharged several days later, Miranda took to social media to express her anger and disappointment in the police.

She also named and shamed her attacker [who cannot be named because he has not been charged] and subsequently opened a case with the Sandton police station.

Sandton police spokesperson David Mothapo confirmed a case of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm had been opened and is under investigation, but the suspect is still at large.

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Mothapo also said that an internal disciplinary case has been opened against the two police officers whom Miranda alleged refused to help her because she was drunk.

Miranda says she is overwhelmed by the response she got from people on social media and organisations.

"So many girls have come out. I am not the only one he has abused but I am definitely the full stop. He must be punished for what he is doing. I am the last person he will do this to, it ends with me."

Miranda has created a Facebook page named ‘Ndikhusele’ (Protect Me) for victims of assault and domestic violence who feel too afraid to voice their struggles.

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