Probe finds police 'erred' in arresting woman taking selfies in Sea Point

Esethu Mcinjana was arrested on the Sea Point beachfront while taking selfies. She was accused of being in possession of 'an implement to break into vehicles' - an old gate remote switch.
Esethu Mcinjana was arrested on the Sea Point beachfront while taking selfies. She was accused of being in possession of 'an implement to break into vehicles' - an old gate remote switch.
Image: GroundUp/Ella Ndongeni

It’s been a month since the police said the investigation into Esethu Mcinjana’s arrest was “almost finalised”, yet she has had no communication from them.

Mcinjana was arrested on May 19 in Sea Point while waiting for a job interview at a hotel in the area. She had arrived early for the interview and went to sit on a bench on the promenade. Mcinjana was accused of being in possession of an implement to break into vehicles. It was, in fact, an old gate remote switch. She was arrested, held in custody overnight and released in the afternoon.

At the time, Sea Point police spokesperson Capt Elizabeth Munro said Mcinjana was released because there were “no prospects of successful prosecution as discussed with the senior prosecutor”.

Mcinjana gave a statement to representatives from the SAPS provincial legal services and the Western Cape police ombudsman.

Deputy director of communications for the Ombudsman, Deidré Foster, said, “Our investigation into the matter is in the process of being concluded, and is found to be substantiated.

“When a complaint is substantiated it means that the complaint – after investigation is concluded – is found to have supporting evidence to show that there was wrongdoing found on the part of the SAPS official. In such instances, a recommendation is made to the provincial commissioner of police for appropriate action to be taken against the officials. The sanction, however, is at the discretion of the SAPS, in line with their disciplinary code,” Foster explained.

A statement released in May by the police said that an investigation into the incident, led by a senior police officer, was under way.

But Mcinjana says she has had no word from the police and does not know what is happening with their investigation. Her house keys have also not been returned to her.

“I want this to come to an end and for steps to be taken against the people who violated me ... I thought by now, more than two months later, there would be some direction and I would have received some justice for what happened,” said Mcinjana.

Siyabulela Malo, from the SAPS Western Cape media centre, replied to GroundUp: “Kindly be advised that the matter … is still under investigation. The keys can be collected at Sea Point police station.”

This article was first published by GroundUp.


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