AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit is currently supporting a complainant in a case after his complaint was within 8 minutes labelled as “false” by the Brooklyn police station, after which the detective branch closed the complaint. The unit also laid a service complaint against a police captain in this regard. The complainant’s son was found dead in January this year under suspicious circumstances in a toilet in the Menlyn Mall shopping centre.
The deceased took out a life insurance policy in November 2019. After his death, the family was informed that no payment would be made to them, as another person had been named as beneficiary. However, this person’s details were completed in a handwriting and ink colour that differ completely from that of the other information in the policy document. It therefore seems that the original beneficiary appointment was tampered with.
Despite this information, the complainant was turned away at the police station because the officer who was investigating his son’s unnatural death was unavailable. After AfriForum intervened, the complainant was allowed in October 2020 to lay charges. However, an SAPS captain then threatened him with arrest because he was apparently laying a false charge – without launching any investigation.
According to Natasha Venter, Advisor for Private Prosecution at AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit, these actions by police officers are one of the reasons why people have so little faith in the country’s legal system. “The SAPS is supposed to be the first recourse for victims of crime. The opposite seems true: In many cases people are turned away at police stations or – even worse – are treated like criminals. It is disconcerting that the Private Prosecution Unit has to involve itself in more and more cases like these to force the SAPS to do its job.”