'Cop stole my money and jewellery'

A TEACHER in Mpumalanga has accused a female police officer of stealing her money and jewellery when she was arrested for alleged public drinking.

A TEACHER in Mpumalanga has accused a female police officer of stealing her money and jewellery when she was arrested for alleged public drinking.

Lerato Motaung, a teacher at Etikhontele High School in Matsulu, told Sowetan that the police found her walking with friends on the street at KaNyamazane on Saturday night at about 9pm.

She claimed that she had an empty jug which "prompted the police to say I was drinking liquor in public".

Motaung said the police demanded that she pay them R500 if she wanted to sleep at home and not at the police station.

"One of them asked if I was employed and I told her I was a teacher.

"She then told me that there was no way I could not afford R500 as I had just been paid on Friday," Motaung said.

"I still refused and was locked up in a cell after a female cop had taken my R1370 cash, silver earrings and a necklace worth R1400.

"Another cop came to my cell later that night and told me that I was bragging because I was educated and I told her it was not my fault that cops were not educated," she said.

Motaung said the police officer had brought a piece of paper to her on which it was written that she would be released if she paid R300 admission of guilt fine.

"I told her I was willing to pay the money as I wanted to go home. I told her I had left R1370 at the charge office but was told there was no money because I did not have a detention warrant that would outline the inventory of my belongings."

She said she was forced to sleep in a "filthy cell" until her relatives came the following day to pay the fine. The police refused to hand back her belongings.

Motaung insisted that she be allowed to open a case of theft against the police officer who had taken her belongings.

Mpumalanga police spokesperson Superintendent Sibongile Nkosi said yesterday she was not aware of the allegations.

"I shall interact with the station commissioner of KaNyamazane to find exactly what transpired," Nkosi said.

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