Home South African Cops cuff rape victim, allegedly collude with rapist

Cops cuff rape victim, allegedly collude with rapist

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A Durban woman who was abducted at knifepoint and raped, was then forced to endure further trauma by three policewomen who were meant to help her, but instead allegedly colluded with the perpetrator in threatening, intimidating and forcing her to withdraw the charges.

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DURBAN – A Durban woman who was abducted at knifepoint and raped, was then forced to endure further trauma by three policewomen who were meant to help her, but instead allegedly colluded with the perpetrator in threatening, intimidating and forcing her to withdraw the charges.

The mother of three has since been placed in a witness protection programme for her safety.

Policewomen Gugulethu Precious Buthelezi, Phila Eunice Xulu and Sanele Patricia Zuma, working in a unit mandated to uphold the rights of rape victims, appeared in the Durban Regional Court last week in relation to the allegations made by the victim.

The woman was walking home from work in March when the suspect accosted her with a knife and raped her. She reported the rape at SAPS Brighton Beach and was then directed to the on-site Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) unit, where the policewomen, all experienced detectives with over 20 years’ service, worked.

Later, realising that the suspect, who was known to her, had not yet been arrested, the woman approached another policeman in the Bluff area.

The woman told the policeman that her case was not being attended to and added that she had noticed that the suspect was frequenting a local playground for children.

The suspect was arrested and the related docket was handed to the FCS unit, but he was released almost immediately. A few days later the woman approached the same policeman and expressed her surprise at the suspect’s release. She also told the officer that the suspect threatened to rape her again and kill her children.

The suspect was re-arrested and once again placed in the care of the FCS unit.

Not long thereafter, the three policewomen, with the help of the suspect, allegedly tracked down the victim, handcuffed her and transported her back to the station in the same vehicle as the suspect.

It is alleged that the policewomen got the witnesses, who had backed the victim’s claim that the suspect had threatened her, to retract their statements.

They allegedly took the victim to the police station at 4pm on March 27 and detained her.

While in detention, the suspect, who was seated outside the victim’s holding cell, allegedly shouted at and threatened her, demanding she withdraw the charges.

Overwhelmed, the woman relented and made a statement saying she lied about the rape and intimidation claims and withdrew the charges.

She was then charged with defeating the course of justice and the arrest was officially logged at about 8pm, even though she was already in a holding cell.

During the victim’s court appearance she refused to enter the dock and remained in a holding cell, until the prosecutor handling the matter approached her.

That’s when the prosecutor realised the woman was a victim of rape and faced trumped up charges. She was not required to appear in court and the matter was struck off the court roll.

The three policewomen then refused to co-operate with Independent Police Investigative Directorate’s (Ipid) investigations and were arrested while readying themselves for shift duty last week.

Buthelezi was charged with defeating the course of justice for allegedly releasing the suspected rapist without a mandatory court appearance. She had allegedly granted the suspect a SAPS 328 release, which was not permissible as he faced a charge related to a serious offence.

Xulu and Zuma were charged with intimidation when they appeared before acting regional court magistrate Mayne Mewanlall. The officers were also charged with crimen injuria and charges under the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act.

They were released on R5,000 bail each. One of the bail conditions was that the accused hand over their cellphones to the Ipid’s investigating officer.

The alleged rapist has been arrested and is being charged separately.

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