Joburg woman says she was assaulted after asking metro cop to wear a mask
A woman who was allegedly assaulted by an Ekurhuleni metro police officer was on Tuesday receiving treatment at the Botshelong Empilweni Hospital in Vosloorus.
Thalente Ngidi said she had suffered two fractures on her nose, and doctors were waiting for the swelling to subside before they could perform surgery.
“I am in pain,” she said during an interview from her hospital bed on Tuesday.
The Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department (EMPD) said it was aware of the allegations made in a video shared on social media.
“We studied the video clip and requested ourinternal affairsunit to intervene,” said acting chief superintendent Kobeli Mokheseng.
He advised Ngidi to register a complaint at the metro police department’s head offices in Kempton Park.
The video footage does not show the alleged assault.
Ngidi said the incident happened on Monday when she and her sister-in-law were stopped by metro police officers. Ngidi was a passenger in the car.
“My biggest mistake was to ask the officer to wear a mask. He refused. I asked him again, and he again refused. He asked me what it has to do with me. I then took a picture with the intention of wanting to report him for breaking the law. When I started taking pictures, he came to my side and pulled me out of the car,” Ngidi said.
She claimed the officer slapped her around and said he would arrest her.
Parts of the incident were caught on camera and were shared by her sister-in-law on Facebook.
One video showed Ngidi walking up to the officer and recording him. He waves his finger at her, warning her to stop filming, saying she was irritating. Ngidi responds that she has the right to do so.
Ngidi tells a man on scene that the officer slapped her and touched her buttocks.
The officer accuses her of provoking him and threatens to assault her if she doesn't leave him alone.
The video is abruptly cut off when the officer allegedly smacks the phone out of Ngidi's hands, smashing the screen when it hits the road.
Ngidi said subsequent to this, the officer had punched her in the face, leaving her with injuries.
Her sister-in-law called her brother to the scene while the traffic officer called colleagues for back-up.
“His colleagues came and accompanied me to the police station to open a case against him. While I was at the Dawn Park police station, the person taking my statement was told to stop and not to continue because the traffic officer had opened a case against me. I was made to sit there for hours. I was bleeding and told I cannot open a case against the state,” she said.
Ngidi said after her brother inquired, an ambulance was eventually called for her to be taken to hospital.
On her arrival there, the officer who had earlier assaulted her was present, wanting her to sign documents confirming her arrest. She refused.
Ngidi said she wanted to pursue criminal charges against the officer.
"I want justice for myself."
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