SAPS deny Witbank commander rapes women

SAPS deny Witbank commander rapes women
DENIAL: Witbank SAPS station commander Brigadier Sifiso Cele who is accused of raping six police female officers. PICTURE BY 013NEWS/ZK

The police say given the serious way in which they treat sexual offences there is noway a case wouldn’t be laid.

The police in Witbank have said allegations that their station commander is embroiled in a massive rape scandal including 6 female cops are untrue.

The Mail & Guardian reported last week that 6 female police officer received counselling after being allegedly raped by eMalahleni acting station commander Brigadier Sifiso Cele.

Spokesman Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said after the report they investigated the issue, and found no truth in the report.

He said they found the report to be “a smear campaign to tarnish the image of the officer”.

“We would like to remind the community that sexual crimes are regarded and taken very seriously by police hence the fight against the scourge of gender based violence,” Hlathi said.

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“Therefore there is no way that an officer would have been not arrested for raping or sexually violating any woman. The community is assured that if there was any allegations of this nature against Brigadier Cele, he would have been arrested immediately,” he said.

The Mail & Guardian said Lieutenant-Colonel Anya Chrissopoulos, head of the police’s psychology department in Mpumalanga, counselled the six cops after their ordeal while they apparently feared being victimised should they lay a criminal case against their boss.

SAPS deny Witbank commander rapes women
Police Brigadier Sifiso Cele

Two of the women confirmed the matter but declined to give comment, the paper reports.

“Lieutenant-Colonel Chrissopoulos is also shocked to learn that her name was drawn into this matter, which can only be labeled as a smear campaign to tarnish the image of the officer. 

“She (Chrissopoulos) told management that she does not know anything about these allegations against Brigadier Cele,” Hlathi said.

But Peter Ntsime of SAPU (South Africa Police Union) said they are aware of the allegations and that cops simply paid lip service to the fight against women abuse.

“We note with concern the serious rape allegations that are levelled against Brigadier Cele and find it unacceptable that, during these days when our country is battling gender-based violence, the SAPS seem to be not only doing nothing against GBV among its ranks but also rewarding alleged perpetrators,” Ntsime said.

(edited by MLM)

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