Cop accused of racism to make representations on why he shouldn't be prosecuted

2018-06-19 16:34


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Police officer Captain JM Henrico, who is facing a charge of crimen injuria after allegedly calling his subordinates the k-word, will now have to make representations on why he should not be prosecuted.

Henrico, who is a police officer at Pretoria Central Police Station, has been accused of using racial slurs and verbally harassing his colleagues. The complaints date as far back as 2016.

"Black police officers at the Pretoria police station have filed various internal and criminal complaints against Captain Henrico for numerous acts of racism against them," said Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) in a statement.

"Some police officials also allege that complainants face further victimisation after opening internal departmental and criminal cases."

READ: 'Racist' Pretoria cop to appear in court

After appearing briefly in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court on Tuesday, Henrico's case was postponed to June 20 for representations.

Racism prevalent in police stations

After court proceedings, LHR attorney Wayne Ncube said: "In this case, given that there are multiple witnesses and the serious nature of the charges, I am not sure that a prosecutor can, without this matter being tested on the stand, have the matter dropped."

LHR said the case was one of many filed by police officers testifying to acts of racism prevalent in police stations across the country.

"The officers and their union representatives have been fighting for the enforcement of procedures and appropriate measures against persons accused of such offences, including related remedial action to ensure that it is properly addressed within the police station for over two years."

LHR added that the National Prosecution Authority's decision to proceed with a criminal trial in this matter offered hope for the officials and sent a strong message that racism had serious consequences.

"This is taking place in the context of a segregated and racially divided past in which the South African police were the enforcers of policies of segregation and discrimination against the majority of black people in this country," Ncube said previously.  

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Read more on:    police  |  pretoria  |  racism

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