Police VIP Protection officer Sgt Lizzie Mojapelo has alleged that police officers did not want to be deployed to the home of Gauteng Deputy Speaker Vuyo Mhlakaza-Manamela because she often subjected them to abuse.
Under cross-examination, the sergeant reiterated her version of events that led to opening a case of assault and crimen injuria against the politician.
AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit is supporting Mojapelo after the state initially declined to prosecute the matter. On Tuesday, Mhlakaza-Manamela pleaded not guilty to the charges.
During cross-examination, Mojapelo was asked about her statement where she allegedly told Mhlakaza-Manamela that people do not want to work at the address. “I said to her that whenever people (SAPS members) are allocated posts, it becomes great difficulty (to be posted here) because people do not want to be subjected to such abuse,” she said.
Mojapelo further revealed that evidence of the incident has gone missing. She told the court that the occurrence book (OB) at the Manamela household, in which she recorded the incident shortly after it happened, could not be located.
The defence was at pains to identify minor differences in Mojapelo’s sworn affidavits and her evidence in chief. However, she was resolute under sometimes difficult cross-examination and provided the clarity needed by the court.
The matter has been postponed to 27 March 2023.
The alleged assault took place in February 2020 at the home of Mhlakaza-Manamela and her husband, Bhuti Manamela, Deputy Minister of Higher Education.
Mojapelo alleges that the suspect, in a drunken fit of rage, severely assaulted her.
She further states that her police superiors did not want to help her open a case, but instead did everything in their power to frustrate those efforts.
A medical examination confirmed that Mojapelo sustained multiple injuries and also confirmed she was 11 weeks pregnant at the time.
She suffered vaginal bleeding and had to receive fertility treatment to ensure her pregnancy was not terminated.
Mojapelo, as a diligent and dutiful police officer, documented details of the alleged assault at every step of the process – from the occurrence book at the scene of the crime to compiling notes of her interactions with prosecutors and investigators. Despite the prima facie evidence against Mhlakaza-Manamela, the National Prosecuting Authority declined to pursue the matter.
Read the original article in Afrikaans on AfriForum
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