Long wait for justice to take its course

Russel Morena

Russel Morena

After eight years of hoping to see justice done after alleged prolonged police harassment, a Soweto woman is still waiting to see action taken.

The last straw was when the police watchdog, the independent complaints directorate (ICD), informed her it was abandoning the cases she had lodged against the Dobsonville police.

Annah Tshabalala of Naledi had opened cases of assault, theft and fraud against her husband at the Dobsonville police station, but the cases were never attended to.

The ICD said in a letter to Tshabalala, 44, that it was closing the file, citing a lack of cooperation on her part.

The ICD claimed that it had made many attempts to contact Tshabalala but she did not respond.

But ICD spokesman Dikeledi Phiri yesterday said that there might have been a miscommunication between her Johannesburg office and Tshabalala.

Phiri said she would take the matter up with the SAPS's provincial head in Gauteng, Siphokazi Molese, and her office in Johannesburg to continue with the investigations.

She asked Tshabalala to forward an affidavit to her Pretoria office, stating the names of the personnel (who attended her) and the dates she contacted both offices.

Last month our sister publication Sunday World reported that the woman had laid seven charges against her husband but was thrown into jail instead of her husband.

She was reported as saying that she miscarried four babies because of physical assault by her husband. In March last year Sowetan reported that the same police kicked her out of the family house claiming her husband had divorced her.

Sunday World also reported senior family court magistrate DM Thulare as saying that Tshabalala's prosecution was based on a false divorce decree in 2006.

Tshabalala said she knew nothing about her husband divorcing her.

"I wear the same clothes every day because all my belongings have been locked up inside our house by the police," she said.

The ICD in 2006 recommended that the Dobsonville police station commissioner institute disciplinary action against the police involved in harassing her.