About a year ago I accompanied a friend to the Women and Child Protection Unit whose loafer boyfriend was threatening her life. Surprisingly, they turned her away saying that she had to produce a residential address where the ex-lover could be found.
Even when she gave them his cellphone number to trace his whereabouts, they refused, saying it was her duty to provide that information. Etsé, how was she supposed to know where the dude ran to after he stole her CD’s, DVD’s, other house belongings and even the baby’s nappies? One early morning before the sun came up, traumatised but desperate, we decided to go look for him at a watering hole in 8ste Laan that he used to frequent so that we could perhaps get an address.
As we waited behind trees, lo and behold, there he was crawling out of a pondok nearby with the deurmekaar-kop (unkempt hair) girl that my friend suspected all along he had been cheating with behind her back.
They were heading for a nearby bar perhaps to nurse their papalaz from the previous night.
Before I could say something, my friend jumped out from behind the trees and started scolding the boyfriend for cheating on her. I was so shocked, I mean, it was not the reason we were here. Weren’t we just supposed to see where he is and go report him?
But the deurmekaar-kop girl wasn’t going to keep quiet either, “Hy is nou myne! Gaan soek vir jou ‘n man,” (He is mine now. Go look for another man),” she shouted, while she dragged him towards the bar.
I calmed my friend and told her to forget about him. We went back to the Women and Child Protection Unit but they were adamant that since there was no street address or erf number on the pondok, they could not send out someone to go look for him.
Heart-broken and discouraged, my friend decided to leave the matter altogether.
She never heard from the Women and Child Protection Unit again, nor did anyone call to verify if everything was fine with her and the child. Luckily the ex did not bother her again.
Just yesterday, my friend told me that some police officer called her asking if she was fine or if they should “investigate” the case she made with the Women and Child Protection Unit a year ago. This is how the conversation went:
Police officer: “This is Sergeant *Karupuka. You filed a case with the Women and Child Protection Unit. Are you fine now or should we continue with the case?”
My friend: “Yes, I am fine and dead. They buried me and my child a year ago after you people refused to help us.” Police officer: “Oh, I am sorry to hear that, but can you please come to the Women and Child Protection Unit so that we can close the case? (He paused) Or are you and the boyfriend still together?”
My friend was so bedonderd (annoyed) that she just slammed down the phone. I would have been angry too. How many times do women report cases of threats and abuse to the police that are not taken seriously? If I went to the police station right now and reported that my boyfriend is threatening to kill me, I can guarantee you that there will be some police officer clowning about my situation or rolling her eyes – this despite all the violent deaths that are making their rounds in our society. My friend was lucky that the scumbag decided not to bother her any more and stay with the deurmekaar-kop girl. From what I hear it’s not all fair in love and war and last week the girl apparently went to open a case against him after he beat her black and blue.
But at least my ‘dead’ friend is well, happy and safe.
As for that police clown who wanted to investigate the case, what a shame. I hope he reads this column, because I gave him a hint on the next case to “investigate”.
Sorry Ngo! *Not his real name