Members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) in Mpumalanga have been shamed by the alleged actions of one of their own.
The primary duty of a police officer is to serve and protect the public against the ills of society.
However, a police constable from Mpumalanga is facing rape charges after an 18-year-old girl filed the complaint at Standerton police station on Women’s Day.
Mpumalanga SAPS officer charged with rape: What we know
According to police spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi, the teen indicated that she was allegedly held captive and sexually assaulted by a man she placed trust in merely because he was dressed in police uniform.
The suspect she fingered as the man who allegedly assaulted her was the 27-year-old constable. His name has not been made public, pending the outcome of his court appearance on Tuesday.
However, we can confirm that the SAPS officer was temporarily deployed to serve the Standerton district after his original post — Sakhile police station — was closed down due to a coronavirus (Covid-19) case.
“Information revealed that two men came to the victim’s place and lured her to the suspect’s place where she was allegedly raped,” Brigadier Hlathi noted in a statement.
At this time, it’s not known why the suspect and his partner, who’s not been charged with a crime, were called out to the victim’s residence.
“The victim managed to escape and was assisted by a member of the public who took her to the police station where a case of rape as well as an additional charge of assault was opened. Police immediately started with their investigation and arrested the suspect [on Monday],” Hlathi added.
Mpumalanga’s top cop condemns the alleged incident
The suspect is due to appear before the Standerton Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, where he will be formally charged and allowed the opportunity to either plead guilty or seek legal representation.
Mpumalanga top cop Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma has strongly condemned the heinous actions of the SAPS officer.
“The General has further expressed his disappointment as this incident occurred during the celebration of women’s month,” Hlathi concluded.