Assault case to be heard after 4 years
A North West man who was allegedly locked up in a freezer for stealing sweets will finally have his day in court after four years.
Rapula Montshane of Skierlik, near Swartruggens, claims that in 2008 he was assaulted by a police officer and a local farmer and locked up in a freezer for about 15 minutes.
After reporting the case to the police, Montshane said the matter had not gone to court.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) yesterday said arrangements had been made to put Montshane's case on the roll, four years after it was first reported to the Swartruggens police station. Montshane alleged that he planned to pay for the sweets.
"I was in the shop holding the sweets in my hand with the intention to pay when a security guard approached me, saying I was trying to steal. The police were called in and one of them beat me up with a broomstick. He then called a white man who locked me up in a freezer for about 15 minutes," Montshane said.
Cold and shivering after what seemed like a "very long time" in the freezer, Montshane said the police officer once again assaulted him with the broomstick after he was let out of the freezer.
"What made it even worse was that it had been raining that day, so I was very cold ," he said.
According to Montshane his nightmare did not end there.
"The farmer shocked me with a cattle prod. I was still in pain days after the torture. I was transferred from the Swartruggens Hospital to the Job Shimankana Hospital in Rustenburg," he said.
The NPA's Frank Lesenyego said they would look into Montshane's case.
"The then chief prosecutor declined to prosecute the matter in 2009 and no longer works for the NPA.
"Arrangements will be made for the case to be checked by the director of public prosecutions in the North West office," said Lesenyego, adding the reason for the delay in hearing the case was being investigated.
- selebim@sowetan. co.za