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Atlantis community divided after high-ranking police officer faces allegations of sexual assault

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An acting-Station Commander has been appointed at the Atlantis police station, to allow investigations into allegations of sexual harassment against its commander to be completed.

The officer cannot be named until he is formally charged within a court. the

Provincial Police Commander Lieutenant-Colonel André Traut confirmed that at least two cases of sexual assault have been opened against the officer. One of these, is understood to be that of a female co-worker.

The mother of the 26-year-old constable is quoted as saying that the high-ranking officer had continued with the alleged harassment since she started working at the station at least three years ago. The suspect had not physically abused her, but is accused of verbally harassing her at work and via social media messages. It is also alleged her demanded explicit images of her.

The second complainant is a member of the public.

On Thursday, residents in the area at opposite ends of the fence regarding the claims of sexual transgression, protested outside Atlantis police station. In video footage, demonstrators on one hand claim he is an assest in the community and that the allegations first need to be investigated before any conclusions are made. On the other hand, angry protestors standing with the alleged victims, say the suspect does not belong in the police force and has deteriorated their trust in the service.

Police Spokesperson Brigadier Novelwa Potelwa said SAPS committed to rooting out all forms of crime including those targeting women and children, confirming that investigations are underway.

“The SAPS management views the allegations levelled against the commander in a serious light and wishes to ensure that both the internal disciplinary as well as the criminal investigations are not compromised hence two experienced managers are probing the allegations.

Potelwa added that police will refrain from commenting further until these investigations are concluded.

VOC


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