Victim claims cops failed her

2018-11-29 06:02

A woman from Nomzamo has resigned from her job after allegedly being sexually harassed by her supervisor at work.

The woman, who worked as a security guard at the Lwandle municipal offices, claims she fended off all advances from the supervisor. “He would call me to have tea with him and start approaching me in ways which made me uncomfortable,” the mother of one alleges. “I reported these actions to my manager and ensured I recorded it in my logbook, but my reports were never given attention.”

The man then started touching her inappropriately, the woman claims. “I went straight to the offices to report it, so someone could investigate the matter,” she said. “But the investigator found nothing [untoward] because the man behaved himself around the investigator.”

The woman decided to open a case of sexual harassment at Lwandle Police Station, but was asked whether the incidents had been reported at the workplace. “I was sexually harassed, yet the police ask if I reported this at my workplace . . . Does it even matter?” the woman asked.

Desperate to get assistance, she went to Somerset West Police Station to ask for assistance. Officers took her back to Lwandle, where a case was eventually opened. “If I had not gone to the Somerset West police, I would not have got assistance from Lwandle police,” the woman alleges.

A month after the case was opened it was withdrawn without any court hearing. She said: “I was shocked since I was never called to testify or anything. [I feel] Lwandle police failed me [in this matter].”

The woman says she informed the investigating officer that she would approach the media to tell her story. “I received a call from the detective, who said they do not report to the media,” she said. “He further said that if I have a problem with the way they work, I should report the matter to the provincial police office.”

Cape Metro Security Services manager Desmon Xhalisa denied his agency had failed the woman.

“We called her to come and explain what was happening, but she chose to resign from her position,” he said. “We gave her another site to work at, but she refused that offer too.”

Provincial police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk confirms the case has been withdrawn as a result of the unavailability of witnesses. He further said the police are investigating the claims of misconduct by the investigating officer.

“The complainant’s case was withdrawn from the Strand Magistrate’s Court due to unavailability of the witness,” Van Wyk said. “[The matter] was referred to the complainant’s employer. The matter [concerning the alleged conduct of the police officer] is currently being investigated internally. Should the member be found guilty, disciplinary steps will be taken.”

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