Cop in dock for rape of man he apprehended for attempted shoplifting, State to oppose bail

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(Nielen de Klerk, News24)
(Nielen de Klerk, News24)
  • A 31-year-old police constable appeared in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday for the alleged rape of a suspect who was never detained.
  • The officer was arrested over the weekend and has since been suspended from the police force.
  • The victim had been arrested by the constable and two other officers at a clothing store in Nyanga after he was accused of attempting to shoplift.

A Cape Town police officer accused of raping a man he arrested, is facing multiple other charges related to the incident, including kidnapping, sexual assault and pointing a firearm.

The 31-year-old constable, who is based at the Nyanga police station, appeared in the Wynberg Magistrate's Court on Tuesday after the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) arrested him on Thursday.

The case was postponed to 23 December for a bail application, which the State will oppose, said National Prosecuting Authority Western Cape spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila.

It is alleged that the constable and two other officers arrested the rape complainant at a clothing store in Nyanga for attempting to shoplift. He was handcuffed and allegedly assaulted before he was put in the back of a police vehicle.

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But the man was not taken to the police station. Instead, according to  IPID spokesperson Grace Langa, the constable dropped off his colleagues at a satellite police station, picked up and dropped off another colleague and drove the man to a gravel road in a bushy, secluded area where he allegedly raped him at gunpoint.

The officer then went to his home in Khayelitsha where he took off his uniform and transported the victim to his home in Gugulethu.

The man told a relative, who is also in the police service, about the incident.

Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Police, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, has called for the prosecution of the officer.

"The relationship between the South African Police Service and the community at large is harmed by such abuses of power by some rotten elements within SAPS. We therefore believe that the suspect must be prosecuted to set an example to other police officers inclined to perpetrate such heinous acts," she said.

Joemat-Pettersson welcomed the officer's "speedy suspension", saying that it would enable a thorough internal disciplinary process.

Provincial police spokesperson Brigadier Novela Potelwa confirmed on Monday that the constable had been suspended, following his arrest over the weekend.

An expeditious internal disciplinary process into his fitness to be a police officer has been initiated, owing to the seriousness of the allegations, she added.

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