The IFP in KwaZulu-Natal is calling for the immediate suspension of a cop suspected of raping a 24-year-old woman at a police station.
In a statement on Friday the party said it had reliably learnt that the officer – stationed at the KwaMakhutha police station on the KZN south coast – had reported for duty.
“What makes matters worse is that we were also reliably informed that the accused is alleged to have had similar accusations before, but these matters were intentionally kept under wraps,” said spokesperson Blessed Gwala.
“The IFP will not tolerate any criminal alignment of police officers with crime, especially heinous crimes like GBV.”
On Wednesday the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) confirmed that it had been tasked with investigating the case against the officer.
Spokesperson Ndileka Cola said the incident allegedly occurred on September 25 while the woman was in police custody.
“It is alleged the victim was taken by the police officer from one of the shops to KwaMakhutha Saps, where the victim was allegedly raped in one of the offices inside the police station.”
She said Ipid had resumed the investigation process, which included visiting the crime scene to gather all the necessary evidence.
“The directorate has also visited the victim and acquired her first statement. The investigation is at an advanced stage and the directorate is working hard to ensure justice for the victim.”
Gwala called on community safety and liaison MEC Bheki Ntuli to intervene by ensuring that the officer is suspended pending the investigation, and that the rape victim is protected against any possible attack.
“Rotten law enforcement officers are the reason that rape victims are not reporting rape and other GBV cases to the Saps. It is unacceptable that there are criminals hiding behind blue uniforms, who cannot be trusted,” he said.
“With the daily increase in the numbers of women and children being raped, killed and molested, we need disciplined and honest police officers who are true to their calling and dedicated to protecting every citizen.”
TimesLIVE (TMG Digital)