AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit is currently supporting Anja Pentz, who was allegedly assaulted by officials at the Wierdabrug police station and jailed for hours after she had wanted to report a hijack attempt. The police official charged her for being “drunk in public” and locked her up after she had attempted to take pictures of them refusing to assist her in reporting a crime. The Unit has already made a representation to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), who has already indicated that it would not place the case against Pentz on the roll.
An unknown vehicle attempted to force Pentz off the highway on the night in question. She was alone in her car and convinced that the occupants of the car wanted to hijack her. She therefore drove to the Wierdabrug police station. The unknown vehicle followed her there, but then disappeared.
Six police officials sat in chairs against the wall and made no attempt to help Pentz. They also ignored her pleas for help. After she had taken out her cell phone to take pictures of them, one of the police officials got up and asked her in crude language what she was doing. He grabbed Pentz behind the neck and informed her that she was being arrested for being “drunk in public”. Pentz was kept in the detention cells until 03:45 the next morning. She then received a notice to appear in court on 13 May on this charge – despite not having taken any alcohol on the day in question and the police refusing to test her alcohol levels.
According to Adv. Phyllis Vorster, Prosecutor at the Private Prosecution Unit, the Unit will also support Pentz in the complaint that has already laid against the police officials. The complaint includes assault, theft (money from her wallet) and malicious damage to property (her cell phone). “We are horrified by the police officials’ actions and power abuse. They seemingly fabricated a charge against an innocent woman, detaining her for hours and treating her with disdain. This after she turned to them for help,” Vorster says.