WHY CANNOT OUR POLICE PROTECT OUR PEOPLE? A protection order and three previous cases of assault lodged with police have failed to protect a Pretoria woman, who said she is terrified of her ex-boyfriend, a police warrant officer. Mpho Masilela, 35, said she is so frightened of the policeman that she dreads the day she is discharged from Kalafong Hospital in Atteridgeville, where she is being treated for broken ribs and a dislocated knee allegedly inflicted by the officer on Sunday last week. "I feel let down by our justice system," she said. "He is very jealous and extremely violent. He has threatened my life so many times it is a miracle I am still alive." Masilela said she was walking home from church when her ex-boyfriend accosted her in full view of other people. "He kicked and stepped on me as I lay helpless on the ground. He picked me up by the throat and punched me as he grabbed my throat. I thought I was going to die." Masilela met the policeman in 2004 and said it was love at first sight. But in December 2008 he punched her for the first time. The two split in March last year but the policeman continued to harass her, Masilela said. She accused him of following her to work and threatening to kill or pour acid on her. He would allegedly send her cuttings of newspaper articles of policemen who had killed their partners and would scribble "You are next, I can do this" on the articles, she said. On Monday afternoon, police took her statement about the most recent incident. Atteridgeville police spokesman Captain Thomas Mufamadi took details of the cases reported by Masilela and promised to comment yesterday, but he could not be reached later. The ex-boyfriend refused to comment, saying the matter would be handled by a court. The executive director of People Opposing Women Abuse, Nhlanhla Mokwena, said women continued to experience secondary victimisation because perpetrators used their positions to influence justice. "What is sad is that officials are protecting each other. As a result, women lose confidence in reporting [violence] and it results in them being trapped in the cycle of abuse." In parliament last month, DA MP Dianne Kohler Barnard said 88 cases of domestic violence by policemen were reported in the past year.
Posted on: Thu, 06 Jun 2013 07:34:24 +0000
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