A 23-year-old Blue Downs woman is considering suing the police after being arrested while sitting on a bench in Sea Point and then being locked in a cell for the night.
Esethu Mcinjana was in Sea Point on Sunday 19 May for a job interview at a hotel at 10:45am. She arrived early for the interview and went to sit on a bench on the promenade to wait.
“I pressed the buzzer when I arrived but no one responded so I went to sit on a bench overlooking the beach.”
She said she was taking selfies at about 9:20am when she was approached by a police officer who asked her what she was doing there.
Esethu took a video which clearly shows the police officers who were searching her bag, a Sergeant Smith and Constable Prince.
She says Smith found her house keys with a gate remote switch in the bag. Smith is heard saying in Afrikaans on the video, “I found what I need to.”
Mcinjana said she was accused of being a robber. “She said I used the remote to rob people’s cars. I tried to explain that the remote wasn’t even working but I was using it as a key holder.”
Smith called a police van on her radio, took Mcinjana’s phone and made her get into the van. She said she was taken to Sea Point police station, handcuffed and shouted at by Smith, photographed and fingerprinted and then put into a cell.
Esethu says she was only given her phone at 4pm to tell her mother where she was.
Her mother, Margaret Mcinjana, told GroundUp when she called the police station she was told it was too late to see her daughter that day and she must come in the morning.
“When I went the next morning I was only given three minutes to speak to her,” said Margaret.
Sea Point SAPS spokesperson, Captain Elizabeth Munro, said Mcinjana had been found to be in possession of “vehicle breaking” implements.
However, Munro said, there were “no prospects of successful prosecution as discussed with the senior prosecutor”.
Mcinjana says she is consulting lawyers and also intends to approach the Human Rights Commission.