Three Ekurhuleni metro cops are still performing official duties despite one being convicted of rape, another going on trial for rape and the third facing sexual harassment charges.
Last year, mayor Mzwandile Masina met the Ekurhuleni metro police department (EMPD) staff and warned that all officers facing criminal charges would be suspended, and those convicted would be dismissed.
Insiders at the EMPD this week said that lawlessness ran rampant at the department, with law enforcers still performing duties despite facing serious rape and sexual harassment charges.
One superintendent in the EMPD is due to go on trial in a few weeks over three rape charges, but is still on the beat. He stands accused of raping a 16-year-old and 20-year-old in the veld near Lawley and Lenasia.
In 2015, he appeared in the Protea Magistrate’s Court for allegedly raping a nine-year-old girl. Both cases have now been merged. He pleaded not guilty to the two cases and is expected to go on trial in mid-March.
The Independent Police Investigations Directorate (Ipid) at the time said the man had allegedly raped minors in the area and paid them for their silence. It was unclear if he had faced an internal disciplinary hearing over the cases.
Another officer was in November 2014 found guilty of raping a 21-year-old woman. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison. However, half the sentence was suspended.
An Ipid report reveals that the man had raped the woman, a friend of his girlfriend, while she slept in her hotel room. The incident happened while the group were in KwaZulu-Natal for the Durban July horse race.
After being convicted and sentenced, he applied for leave to appeal and was released on R3 000 bail. It’s not clear whether he appealed the conviction or the sentence, and attempts to reach him were unsuccessful.
The complainant, who cannot be identified due to the nature of the case, said she was not aware of the status of the case.
The third senior officer is being investigated for allegedly sexually harassing a subordinate. The incident apparently happened in 2015 but the complainant, who cannot be identified due to the nature of the charge, laid an internal grievance last year after seeking medical attention for the trauma.
The accused had allegedly made lurid or offensive comments about her buttocks in Sesotho. According to the report, the woman consulted a psychologist and a doctor after the incident.
Last year, the alleged perpetrator attempted to transfer the complainant to Boksburg. “She refused because (he) refused to do it writing,” the report said. A council vehicle assigned to her was then taken away from her.
The internal disciplinary hearing into the matter recommended that the complaint be fully investigated. Meanwhile, it said, the complainant should be transferred to any Ekurhuleni office of her choice until the matter was resolved.
The SAPS discipline regulations stipulate that a commissioner may suspend an officer “on reasonable grounds, if satisfied that the misconduct which the employee is alleged to have committed is misconduct”.
An officer could also be suspended if the commissioner felt the case was “so strong that it is likely that the employee will be convicted of a crime and be dismissed”.
It adds that rape is one of numerous misconducts that warrant the institution of an “expeditious procedure”.
Ipid spokesperson Moses Dlamini said the decision to suspend an employee lay with the employer. “SAPS disciplinary regulations are taken into account when there is a criminal offence. The process is completely run by the SAPS or the municipality,” he said.