Matter referred to police watchdog for investigation
A CASE has been referred to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) after a transgender complainant was allegedly refused assistance when she tried to open an assault charge at the Galeshewe police station.
Diamond Gay and Lesbian Organisation executive director Tebogo Makwati stated that the complainant arrived at the Galeshewe police station at about 9.49pm on August 22 to report a case of assault.
“She fled the scene (of the assault) and ran to the police station without a mask, where she was refused entry at the charge office,” said Makwati.
He alleged that the complainant was manhandled and assaulted by an unidentified police officer.
“Upon her return to the police station, this time with a mask, at about 10.05pm, she stated that the police officer refused to open the docket. She was informed that there were no resources to transport her to the hospital and that she should make use of private transportation.”
The complainant obtained a J88 form and has opened a case of assault against her partner and his friend as well as another case against the unidentified police officer.
Makwati pointed out that as a victim of domestic violence, the complainant was allegedly denied assistance in opening a criminal case, seeking medical attention, shelter and victim counselling.
“She further experienced discrimination and secondary victimisation and assault at the hands of a law enforcement officer over a mask.”
He said that to date the docket had not been assigned to an investigating officer.
“All victims of crime should be treated without prejudice of any kind on the grounds of race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth, as set out in the Constitution,” said Makwati.
Makwati indicated that the organisation would offer the necessary support, including counselling, to the complainant.
“We also believe that all police officials should undergo compulsory LGBTIQ+ sensitisation in the criminal justice system. In the midst of both the Covid-19 and gender-based violence pandemics that South Africa is facing, LGBTIQ+ persons cannot be denied police assistance and protection.”
Police spokesperson Captain Sergio Kock said the matter had been referred to Ipid for investigation.
Ipid has not yet responded to media enquiries.