South Africa: Woman Sues Cops After Assault, Being Called ‘White Bitch’

Hanti Otto, News 24

A woman is claiming almost R160 000 from the minister of police after she allegedly had to undergo emergency surgery after being manhandled by members of the SAPS in June 2016.

Annemarie Eksteen, 57, is claiming in court papers that female police officers from Garsfontein in Pretoria assaulted, unlawfully arrested and maliciously prosecuted her, and also damaged her personal belongings.

The police are opposing the claim, Netwerk24 reported.

The alleged assault happened on Saturday June 11, 2016, when Eksteen took a document to the police which they wanted proof of.

Carel Taute, Eksteen’s lawyer, wrote the following in legal documents: “Reported assaults causing the injuries to the plaintiff happened at different times and different officers were involved. The assaults included pushing the plaintiff so hard that she fell and dragging the plaintiff.”

In the process, her designer watch and handbag, as well as her cellphone, were damaged.

Eksteen’s glasses were also missing after she fell.

Case not on court roll

She was held for hours on the day, and then warned to appear in the Community Court in Hatfield on a charge of assault the following Monday.

But the case wasn’t placed on the court roll.

Eksteen said a female constable had phoned her on the preceding Saturday.

“When I said I was on my way, she started shouting at me. When I got to the police station, I was told to go to a small office.”

The constable and a female colleague came in.

“From the start, the constable said to me: ‘You white bitch, why did you scream at me on the phone?’

“I denied that I’d shouted at her. One of the women came and stood so close to me that I could see the spit fly.

“When I raised my hands and held them in front of my face, she screamed that I had assaulted her.”

That, Eksteen claims, is when the constable gave her such a shove that she ended up under a table.

‘I was in a state’

“The office door was closed. One of the women had a gun in her holster. A third woman came in and I considered trying to run out of the office, but I was scared they would shoot me.”

After she came to her feet, Eksteen was allegedly shoved again.

“I was lying on the floor. I was in a state. They kept on saying that I’d assaulted a police officer. I told them that I had cancer and had had five operations for a nerve which had been damaged during a mastectomy. I showed them that I’d had a mastectomy. I said I was in pain and used medication.

The response apparently was: “You whites are always on medicine. We will give you some…”

They apparently then took Eksteen to a cell.

“I was scared. I didn’t want to be locked up. I held onto a pole with my injured right arm. They kept on pulling me.”

Eksteen fell again.

“They dragged me to the cell by my arm. It was winter. There I was, lying on a cement floor without my medicine, without a jersey, without food and without a toilet.”

She was released at 21:00 that Saturday, and told to appear in court on the following Monday.

After the prosecutor refused to place the case on the court roll, Eksteen went to see a doctor.

The next day she underwent emergency surgery on the nerve in her arm.