A policeman has been accused of being “drunk” on duty and refusing to help a woman screaming for help from the holding cells at a Midrand police station during the weekend.
An eyewitness, who recorded the incident, spoke to TimesLIVE on condition of anonymity on Tuesday morning.
Thabo* said he went to the police station to bail out a friend who had been arrested for driving under the influence on Friday evening.
“We gave him money for bail, but the police station was not releasing him for whatever reason. They were just taking their time and said their computers were down.”
Thabo* said he left and returned on Saturday evening with three friends.
When they arrived at the station, they noticed a woman with a child in the holding cells.
According to Thabo* the woman shouted, “Help me officer, help me”.
He said he and his friends went to the front desk and informed the officer on duty that a woman was shouting at the back at the holding cells.
“We asked him to please go and check it out because there was a child involved. He just told us not to worry about her.
“We told him there was no way we could not worry about her because she was screaming and we didn’t know what was wrong.”
They were apparently informed by the officer that there were cameras in the cells, “so nothing was wrong”.
“After we insisted he have a look, all hell broke loose. He was going on and saying we were telling him how to do his job.
“That’s also when he started talking about if she dies, she dies, and he will write the affidavit. You could see this guy was drunk. We didn’t have a breathalyser, but you could see he was drunk,” he said.
Other police officers then arrived and “calmed him down”.
It is unclear why the woman and her child were in the holding cells.
Thabo said he was “extremely” disappointed with the manner in which the officer had conducted himself.
“He was very unprofessional. If someone calls for help, you are the officer of the law and you are obliged to help.
“This guy [officer] didn’t even know why the lady was calling for help, but he just decided not to go check it out.”
Police spokesperson Brig Mathapelo Peters said a complaint about the incident had not been lodged.
“Provincial commissioner Lt-Gen Elias Mawela has sanctioned an urgent internal investigation to establish the facts surrounding the clip.
“It would help the internal investigation if the person that captured the video could contact management at the Midrand police station.”
Fearing retribution, Thabo* asked that his real name be withheld.