The SAPS said the inmates became intoxicated after consuming the substances on New Year’s Eve and allegedly started assaulting and raping other inmates in the police cells.
A 39-YEAR-old sergeant in the South African Police Service has been suspended for allegedly supplying alcohol and dagga to inmates in police holding cells at Phalaborwa police station on New Year’s Eve.
The spokesperson for the SAPS in Limpopo, Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo, said the police officer allegedly supplied the intoxicating substances to the inmates on December 31. This led to an outbreak of violent crime inside the cells.
“The inmates reportedly became intoxicated after consuming the substances on New Year’s Eve and allegedly started assaulting and raping other inmates in the cells,” Mojapelo said.
Six counts of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm (GBH) and two counts of rape were opened in the aftermath.
“Two suspects, aged 23 and 39, one in custody for murder and the other for robbery, were subsequently arrested and charged for rape and assault GBH,” Mojapelo said.
Meanwhile, the provincial commissioner of police in Limpopo, Lieutenant-General Thembi Hadebe has sought to assure community members that police holding cells are managed “in accordance with existing internal policies”.
She said what happened at Phalaborwa police station was an isolated incident which is being dealt with internally, to ensure that decisive and appropriate sanction is meted against the alleged culprit – the police officer.
The inmates who have been charged following the crime spree in the police cells appeared in the Phalaborwa Magistrate’s Court facing charges of six counts of assault GBH and two counts of rape.
Their cases were postponed to January 18.