Pretoria – The Tshwane metro police department officers accused of assaulting a woman motorist will finally have their matter heard in the Hatfield Magistrate’s Court.
The officers allegedly assaulted and threw Kymie du Toit, a nursery school teacher, to the ground in 2019.
AfriForum last year said it would assist Du Toit with the criminal charges she had laid against the officials.
Spokesperson for the civil rights organisation Chanté Kelder said their unit had continually communicated with the department and it had also assisted the investigating officer to ensure that all possible evidence was collated and presented to the prosecutor.
“We offered our assistance to ensure that justice was done. We also have a watching brief in the matter and will monitor court proceedings and assist her throughout the case,” she said.
In January this year, Du Toit of Moreleta Park instituted a multimillion-rand damages claim in the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria against the metro police, as well as against the SAPS following her harrowing ordeal in 2019.
The Pretoria News previously reported that in the court papers it was stated that the 30 year old was returning home at around 11pm on November 26, 2019 after completing her duties as an au pair for a family in Cornwall Hill Estate.
She noticed a vehicle which looked like it belonged to the Tshwane metro police parked across two lanes in Nellmapius Drive.
Someone waved her down and indicated she should stop, but she was fearful as it was late, and she was alone, so she put on her hazard lights and drove slowly to a petrol station in Rubenstein Drive, where she stopped.
Du Toit said she was still traumatised from an incident that took place a few months prior; she was driving from Lanseria Airport to Pretoria and was stopped along the N14 by four men wearing police uniforms, in a Toyota Corolla with a SAPS sticker on it.
She was eventually robbed by the men who brandished a firearm and a knife. So when she was told to stop again, she recalled this incident and did not want to stop until she felt safe.
When she stopped at the petrol station, the metro police allegedly pulled her out of her car and pushed her to the ground, kicking and punching her.
She underwent a breathalyser test and was then taken to the Lyttelton police station where she was kept for several hours before being charged with reckless and negligent driving. She was later released on R1 000 bail.
Kelder said they welcomed the prosecution of the individuals and that it was important to take whatever steps necessary to restore or enhance society’s confidence in law enforcement.
“Unfortunately, the wheels of the criminal justice system turn slowly; the incident took place in November 2019, and we are only now (two years later) seeing real action against the suspects,” she said.
Kelder said that they accepted that crimes committed by law enforcement officers were an aggravating factor and should be met with harsh punishment.
“Still, we believe that our continued insistence and assistance to ensure a prosecution will make law enforcement officials who intend to abuse their power rethink the manner in which they interact with the public whom they are supposed to serve,” she said.
The City of Tshwane said previously the officers had given Du Toit a lawful instruction to stop, which she had ignored.
It was adamant she was driving recklessly and negligently and did not obey traffic signals.