Family claim the police official was in uniform and driving an SAPS-branded vehicle
A COMPLAINT has been laid with the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) after a city police officer allegedly “pursued” a young girl and tried to solicit her phone number so that he could “chat with her”.
According to the mother of the 17-year-old girl, her daughter was walking to a shop with her 10-year-old sister on Monday, at about 5.30pm, when they were approached by a police officer in Homevale.
“He was driving a SAPS Public Order Police vehicle and was in full uniform. He was also carrying a firearm,” said the mother.
She stated that the police officer, a sergeant, parked outside a shop in 3rd Street.
“He was busy tucking in his shirt and T-shirt into his pants and was adjusting his belt. He told our daughters ‘sorry for dressing in front of you’ but they did not pay any attention to him as they do not know him.”
She added that as they were walking home, the police officer drove behind her children.
“He stopped them in 4th Street, Homevale. Our eldest daughter, who is Grade 11, was under the impression that he wanted to ask for directions or something. He instead asked for her phone number so that he could ‘chat with her’, whereupon she refused to provide him with her contact details. He followed them all the way home and parked outside the house before eventually driving off.”
The girls’ father stated that both his daughters were extremely emotional and traumatised.
“My 10-year-old daughter was crying. I rushed to look for the policeman when they told me what had happened. I approached the policeman, who was driving a SAPS-branded Ford Ranger, at the Homestead traffic lights,” said the father.
“My wife and I waited for about 20 minutes for the other police to report to the scene and we were instructed to go to the Roodepan police station.”
He said that the police had refused to open a harassment case, or provide the name of the police officer in question.
“We were informed that if we opened a case nothing would come of it. A brigadier offered to sort out the matter by asking the sergeant to apologise for what happened. We believe that the police officer must answer for his inappropriate actions involving minor children. He needs to learn that what he did was wrong because what will happen if the next child is not that lucky?
“If you cannot trust the police these days then who can you trust?”
He added that the police wanted to first contact their legal department before contacting the parents.
“We later obtained a protection order and gave the police a statement. The police officers at Roodepan police station were very rude and arrogant. The police are supposed to protect our children, not harass them.”
Members of the local community believed that this “unprofessional conduct” should be dealt with harshly, especially in the wake of incidents of child trafficking.
Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Dimakatso Mooi referred media enquiries to Ipid.
The Ipid spokesperson indicated that they were still waiting for more information at the time of publication.