A Cape Town police officer who reportedly told a Khayelitsha woman wanting to open a rape case to come back the next day, will face disciplinary action, Western Cape police have said.
According to a statement on Wednesday, the 26-year-old wanted to report an alleged rape case on Monday evening, but was told by the police officer to come back the following day.
A senior police officer had to visit the victim at her home the next day, Tuesday, and only then a rape case was opened.
The incident has left Western Cape police commissioner Lieutenant General Yolisa Matakata “horrified”.
Matakata has called for a disciplinary investigation against the implicated police officer.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Novela Potelwa said: “Details of the incident have been circulating on social media platforms. Preliminary reports suggest that the victim had visited the police station on Monday and was indeed attended to by a police official from the police station.
“The police official in question has been identified as part of the unfolding investigation. On Tuesday afternoon, a senior police official from Khayelitsha police station visited the victim’s home as part of the investigation and a rape case was subsequently opened,” said Potelwa.
Potelwa said the alleged rapist is yet to be arrested as detectives are following up on several leads.
Matakata reiterated the police’s stance on dealing with cases of rape, sexual violation and other forms of violence, contained in organisational directives.
“The SAPS prescripts stipulate that no one who wishes to open a case should be turned away from SAPS service points, which are police stations.
“I cannot wait to see the disciplinary investigation finalised. Not only is it embarrassing to know that a victim of a crime left a police station without being assisted (sic). Claims of what had happened smack of dereliction of duty on the part of police. The unfortunate incident happens when the country is battling an alarming rate of incidents of gender-based violence,” said Makataka.