A woman who suffered humiliation after being dragged out of a hair salon is now suing SAPS.
She has blamed the police for the misfortune that befell her.
The woman, a lawyer by profession, who is not identified as she had suffered a miscarriage following her experience, claimed R59 575 000 in damages.
She further claimed R16m for loss of income, saying she was so traumatised that she could not continue with her law practice.
The woman’s ordeal started on Saturday, June 30, 2007 – four days after she had married her husband. He accompanied her to a hair salon and waited for her there.
As she was being treated under a hair dryer, two policemen came into the salon. Her husband was standing at the counter. They told her husband that he was under arrest.
The woman asked why her husband was arrested, but the police simply told her to get a lawyer. She told the officers that she was a lawyer.
The court was told one of the officers slapped her while she was still under the dryer. She fell to the ground and was repeatedly kicked on her body, legs and stomach.
She said she and her husband were dragged across the road to a police vehicle and forcibly pushed into it.
The keys of her Jeep vehicle were obtained from her. They drove off in the police vehicle, but the officer who was driving the vehicle slammed on the brakes and they came to a standstill. The sergeant pointed a firearm at them, asking what was wrong with the Jeep as apparently it could not start.
The woman said the officer told her that if something happened to the officer driving her Jeep, he would shoot both her and her husband.
The woman and her husband were detained at different police stations. The reason for her incarceration, she said, was because she “interfered with the police” when they arrested her husband.
She again told the police that she was an attorney and was released after a few hours. She said she was warned and threatened not to open a case against them as they knew where she was living. She drove off in her Jeep to her home.
The next morning she received a call from one of the officers who apologised to her for assaulting her.
As she was afraid, she told the policeman that she accepted the apology and that she would not open a case against him.
She meanwhile managed to arrange bail for her husband.
As she had abdominal pain, the woman went to the doctor a few days later, where she established for the first time that she was actually four weeks pregnant. She, however, later had a miscarriage.
Judge Rean Strydom ordered that the police were liable for the damages she could prove she had suffered while they manhandled her as well as for the about five hours of deprivation of her freedom.
Source: Cape Argus
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