A video of a Mamelodi woman in distress complaining about the lack of help from the police that went viral has resulted in the arrest of the alleged abuser.
The woman whose face had bruises and parts of her hair appeared to have been ripped off pleaded for help from Police Minister Bheki Cele and Justice Minister Ronald Lamola.
Beaten up, bruised with a black eye, the woman said she was in more distress when she found the Mamelodi Police Station closed.
She said fearing for her life she drove from Mamelodi to Silverton, Pretoria, in the middle of the night.
When she arrived at the Silverton Police Station, the complainant said a female police officer insisted on speaking to the alleged abuser on the telephone before she agreed to open the case.
The police officer was heard by the complainant pleading with her abuser to come to the police station.
Disappointed at the turn of events, the articulate complainant said she felt the police were bending over backwards to accommodate the accused person while doing nothing to protect her.
In the video, the complainant asks what she was supposed to do after reporting the abuse. She asks if she was expected to go back home to her abuser or risk her life in the streets?
Hours later the police said: “The Management of the South African Police Service in Gauteng has noticed with concern a video circulating on social media platforms where a complainant in an alleged domestic violence incident could not get assistance in Mamelodi as the police station was closed.
“The complainant then proceeded to open a case of domestic violence and assault at Silverton. The Silverton police arrested the suspect in the early hours of 12 December 2021.”
Brigadier Brenda Muridili said the case docket, as well as the arrested suspect, were then transferred by the Silverton police to SAPS Mamelodi for further investigation.
A detective in Mamelodi who was allocated the case charged the 46-year-old suspect with assault and released him on a warning to appear in court on 30 December 2021.
“Preliminary investigations revealed that Mamelodi Police Station was closed due to decontamination as there was a case of Covid-19 that was reported,” explained Brigadier Muridili.
“The Community Service Centre was operating from the back entrance of the station.
“The station commander has also instituted an internal disciplinary investigation into the detective member that released the suspect on warning and failed to liaise with the complainant.”