Where’s the morality and public trust if police officers solicit bribes from rape suspects?
The Democratic Alliance Women’s Network (DAWN) in Mpumalanga condemns the actions taken by three police investigators who allegedly solicited an R25 000 bribe from a rape suspect to get rid of a case in Mbombela.
As DAWN, we call for the three officers to be suspended immediately and for the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) to fully investigate the matter internally. It is possible that they may have done this before.
It is a disgrace that these three officers, Sergeant Bonisile Daphney Mjali, 45, Sergeant Xolani Howard Nxumalo, 37, and Constable Thulisile Patricia Mkhatshwa, 35, are attached to the Family Violence, Child Protection, and Sexual Offences (FCS) unit. The FCS should provide support and protection to victims of crimes like rape, domestic violence, and assault.
However, according to the HAWKS Spokesperson in Mpumalanga, Captain Dineo Sekgotodi, one of the investigating officers approached the rape suspect and told him he was facing rape charges and then allegedly solicited a bribe.
Sexual assault against women and children in Mpumalanga is rife. Just last month a 23-year old man in Mkhondo was sentenced to life in prison for gang rape of a 16-year-old.
Another 91-year old man in Bushbuckridge was arrested for raping an 11-year-old child in March 2021.
The severity of crimes against women and children is at a peak and cannot be ignored while the very same police officers the community relies on for safety are the ones who protect the culprits.
The morale in our police stations must be brought back. Citizens cannot continue to fear reporting cases of rape because of the corruption within the SAPS.
DAWN will continue to fight against all crimes against women and children.