Open letter to South Africa’s students‚ universities and government‚ represented by Minister in the .
The traumatised mother of a two-month-old baby who died in a Pietermaritzburg police station fears for her safety after she learnt that the police inspector charged with sexually assaulting her is out on bail.
Thandi Ndlovu, 32, says she went to the Copsville satellite police station to ask officers to summon an ambulance for her sick child, Relebohile, on the night of July 29.
She alleges that the 40-year-old policeman on duty that night called an ambulance but while Ndlovu was waiting for the ambulance, he demanded sex.
The baby died in her mother's arms at the police station.
The policeman's alleged advances lasted about an hour while Ndlovu held Relebohile in her arms. The sexual harassment stopped only after the paramedics arrived and pronounced the child dead.
Ndlovu said the randy policeman continued to demand sex from her as she waited for a mortuary vehicle.
Ndlovu reported the matter the next day and the officer was arrested on August 2. He appeared in court and was granted R1000 bail. He is scheduled to appear in court again on September 10.
Ndlovu said she was under the impression that the policeman was still in jail.
"I'm scared this man might hurt me. I heard that he was granted bail. My life is in danger now," she said.
The destitute Ndlovu suffered another heartbreak yesterday after she spent three hours at the Azalea cemetery waiting to bury her baby. She said she had pleaded in vain with the government mortuary to help bury her baby.
"I was told that my child would be buried at Azalea Cemetery today (yesterday) but it did not happen. It is painful. My baby has still not been buried after three weeks," she said.
Msunduzi municipality parks and recreation manager, Flora Tseleli, said they had not received any application for help from Ndlovu.
Tseleli, however, said the municipality had made arrangements to bury the child at Mountain Rise Cemetery tomorrow.
"We will give the child a decent funeral," said Tseleli.
ANC Women's League chairman in the area, Sizeni Ngcobo, said what happened to Ndlovu was "very disgusting".
"I was with her outside the cemetery after our local councillor Henry Ngubane asked me to help.
"We spend hours waiting in vain, but I promise that we will help her. She is very traumatised and needs counselling," Ngcobo said.
Police spokesman Vincent Mdunge said Ndlovu is welcome to raise her concerns with the local police.
"The fundamental purpose of arresting a person is to put him before a court of law. We can not begin to say the complainant is unsafe after the release of an accused.
"If the complainant has a legitimate reason to fear for her safety, she can report this at any police station," Mdunge said.