4 suspects rape teenager in police cell

Zinhle Mapumulo

Zinhle Mapumulo

The Independent Complaints Directorate is investigating a case of negligence by police officials after a 19-year-old girl was allegedly raped by four male detainees in police cells.

The incident allegedly happened last Thursday at the Transvaal Road police station in the Northern Cape.

The teenager was arrested for allegedly being drunk in the early hours of last Thursday. She was placed in a holding cell with four male detainees. The men allegedly took turns raping her between 3am and 6am.

IDC spokesman Dikeledi Phiri confirmed that a case of negligence or improper performance of duties would be brought against the police who put the young woman in the cells with four male suspects.

"The teenager was allegedly repeatedly raped by the four males. She reported the rape to an officer who was doing routine cell visits at about 6am.

"Police alerted the IDC about the incident. They also helped the young woman to get medical treatment," Phiri said.

Phiri said: "The commission plans to establish if SAPS Standing Orders were contravened or adhered to in terms of the cell visits.

"Cell visits are supposed to take place every hour, or every thirty minutes if a person is detained for drunkenness. In this case it seems they did not. Drastic measures will be taken against the police if the allegations are found to be true," added Phiri.

Phiri said that a rape case was opened and the investigations would be handled by police.

"As the people who raped the woman are civilians, the case cannot be investigated by the ICD," Phiri said.