South Africa

WC police ombud to probe secondary victimization claims by rape survivors

CAPE TOWN –Western Cape Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz says the police ombudsman has agreed to investigate two separate cases of secondary victimization involving rape survivors.

Fritz has requested that officers at Khayelitsha and Langa police stations be investigated.

It's understood that in both cases the victims reported the sexual crimes on the day they happened but were apparently turned away.

Fritz said the Khayelitsha woman was allegedly instructed by police to return to the station the following day and not to bath.

Eyewitness News spoke to Samke Mzukwa, a young woman who went to the Langa police station last weekend after she was sexually assaulted – allegedly by a childhood friend.

Mzukwa claims she and her mother were pepper-sprayed and manhandled by three officers who forced them to leave the premises.

“Out of nowhere three cops come out, one grabs my phone – as I turn around, pepper sprays me directly in the eyes. My mom jumps up, they pepper spray her, also directly in the eyes. They manhandle my mom, they push [her] and she hits her knee and falls on the floor. The cop who pepper-sprayed me and took my phone first grabs my mom from the floor and throws her out again – at this point, we are now outside the police station.”

She said the Independent Police Investigative Directorate and the Human Rights Commission are also probing her case.

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