Right in the middle of the annual 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign, a 33-year-old Johannesburg woman who was allegedly badly beaten by her boyfriend has claimed a woman police officer made her feel she had deserved the beating and that an apology was all that was necessary to settle the matter.
The beauty salon nail technician, who works in Newtown and whose face and parts of her body are bruised, said she reported the assault to police last Sunday, but was met with “cold” comments.
She said she noticed the date recorded on her complaint was December 21, when in fact she reported the matter on December 2. She said she queried the anomaly with a police constable who admitted the information she had been given, including the case number, were incorrect.
“She said the right case number is still not registered so she had to create a temporary case number just so that the suspect can appear in court,” the complainant said.
She said the constable told her the 37-year-old suspect, who had been her boyfriend up to the beating, would be released on bail the next day.
She said the woman constable, “Looking at my face, she asked me ‘why were you beaten like this? Were you drunk? Perhaps that is why your face is badly beaten like that’, and she even said ‘didn’t the guy apologise?’.”
The complainant said she showed the constable a text message in which her attacker apologised for beating her up. “She said ‘at least he apologised’… I was crushed.”
Worse still, the woman said she did not have time to sign the protection order that she had presented. The next day, she was shocked to see the man walking past her workplace while drinking beer.
“My attacker is my boyfriend … but he is now my ex because I don’t want him after this incident… I am scared for my life now that he is out [on bail],” she said.
The boyfriend admitted he had been locked up for allegedly beating the complainant, and said he had appeared in court and was released on bail. He claimed he had a casual affair with the woman, but she had become “obsessed” under what he said was a mistaken belief that they were an “item”.
“She was never my girlfriend … we met and did our thing and now she is obsessed. I did not hit her. She smacked herself against the wall and now she is telling everyone on social media that I hit her.
“Yes, she reported me at the police station and it was not labelled as a domestic violence. It was labelled as an assault. I still say I did not hit her. She is mad. She will get what is coming for her. She got a protection order against me. I will also protect myself,” he said.
At the time of publishing, the constable had not responded to messages left on her cellphone.
– African News Agency (ANA)