Cops ridicule abuse reporting mother

2018-09-20 06:02
Lwandle police are accused of laughing at a mother who wanted to open a case of child abuse at the station last Friday. PHOTO: Velani Ludidi

Lwandle police are accused of laughing at a mother who wanted to open a case of child abuse at the station last Friday. PHOTO: Velani Ludidi

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Crime statistics released by the minister of police last week showed that the Western Cape is the most dangerous place to raise a child in.

As if to underscore this reality, the mother of a seven-year-old girl claims Lwandle police laughed at her when she reported a case of child abuse at the station on Friday 14 September.

“My child said one of the drivers who pick children up from her school touched her inappropriately and kissed her,” the 23-year-old mother said. “My child knows that strangers, especially men, are not allowed to touch her in certain places, let alone kiss her.”

After reporting the matter to the school, she proceeded to Lwandle Police Station to lay a charge against the alleged perpetrator. “The officers who assisted me first laughed at me, then called other officers and asked that I repeat what I said,” the irate mother claims.

“They said my child is too ahead of her time and asked what she knows about being touched inappropriately at her age.”

Furthermore, the young mother claims the police officers asked her what she wanted them to do. She said she told them to send officers to the man to question him, but the police officers told her to return to the station at a later stage. “I could not believe that police officers, who should be taking such cases seriously, laughed at me. I won’t wait until something happens to my child before I act,” the woman said.

The principal of the school confirmed the vehicle does not belong to the school and that transport was not arranged by the school either. “The transport of learners is the responsibility of the parents,” the principal said. “We have reported the matter to the Lwandle Scholar Transport Committee and the driver has since been informed he is not allowed on the school premises.”

Jessica Shelver, spokesperson for the provincial education department, expressed her shock over the incident. “These reports are extremely concerning,” she explained. “The school is an independent school that is registered with the department.

“What is more concerning is the police’s alleged reaction to these reports. I will forward this to Brigadier Sonja Harri of the police’s Family, Child and Sexual Offences Unit for investigation.”

Capt Bibiana Madala, acting station commander of the Lwandle police, said the station will launch an investigation into the allegations. “It is shocking that a police officer can [turn parents away], what with so many reported cases of child abuse,” she said.

“The case should have been handled better. We will do our own investigation and I want to implore the mother to come the police station and report the matter.”

The Lwandle Scholar Transport Committee declined to comment on the matter.

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