'Police assaulted my sister while I sat in labour'
At 40 weeks pregnant‚ Jessica* thought she was going into labour when she started experiencing severe pain on Saturday evening. Her sister’s boyfriend agreed to rush her to hospital.
He sped off with Jessica’s sister in the passenger seat. But minutes after leaving Ocean View in Cape Town‚ Jessica had to crawl out of the car to beg a policeman to stop “trying to kill” her sister.
Jessica‚ who is too afraid to divulge her identity‚ said three policemen stopped them because they were driving too fast. One officer pulled out his firearm and pointed it at the boyfriend.
Her sister‚ said Jessica‚ asked them not to hurt him. “The policeman screamed: 'Shut the f**k up!' He got on top of her and started choking her. He said he would kill her‚” said Jessica.
The nightmare ended when Jessica managed to get out of the car to ask for “mercy”. Less than 48 hours later she gave birth to a healthy 4kg boy.
When the officer eventually stopped assaulting her sister she was handcuffed and taken to the police station in Fish Hoek‚ said Jessica.
The boyfriend was allowed to leave for the hospital but was warned that “if we don’t find you at hospital … you will see what will happen to you”. Jessica said hospital staff struggled to get her heart rate and that of her unborn son under control. The 20-year-old told TimesLIVE: “I thought I was watching my sister being killed. I can still see the policeman sitting on top of her.”
She said her sister was locked up and released at about 2am on Sunday. Her alleged attacker dropped her at home. Jessica gave birth on Monday.
Ward councillor Patricia Franke said she would assist the family‚ who plan to report the incident to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate.
She said the victim’s eyes were bloodshot and she could see bruises on her wrists caused by handcuffs.
“I was shocked to my core to hear that a police officer sat on the body of a woman‚ choking her. Police are there to give us guidance and to be our protection when we are in need‚” said Franke.
“As a woman standing for women’s rights I am not happy with what I’ve heard. I will take this to the highest commission to deal with. I am in such shock that I can’t even sleep properly.”
Police spokeswoman Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana said the woman was “detained for drunkenness” and being “disorderly”‚ and advised her to report the alleged incident at the police station. But the victim is scared of what could happen to her. She said she had consumed alcohol but was not drunk.
“I sat in that holding cell thinking I am going to jail and thought of my sister‚ whether she had given birth. Now I look at my nephew and think‚ ‘If only you knew what happened that night’. He might not have been here today.”
* Not her real name