A former police constable from Brits is suing the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, for R10 million after he was allegedly sexually harassed by a female station commander.
Former Constable Tumelo Masenamela (33) is suing the minister for suffering emotional shock, trauma, and impaired mental health as a result of the harassment. He also claims damages for future medical costs for psychotherapy.
Masenamela alleges that the Letlhabile police station commander, Lt Col Marike Galant, sexually harassed him repeatedly over a period of a year by touching his private parts.
During one of the incidents in 2018 Masenamela alleges that Galant touched his private parts while driving from a crime scene and when he pushed her hand away, she contacted the Brits police station and requested a vehicle to fetch Masenamela, telling him to get out.
During another incident, Galant allegedly shouted at him for being 15 minutes late for duty and then grabbed his private parts, “smiled at him and started licking her lips”
Other allegations include Galant asking him to accompany her home during a roadblock to be “comfortable with her and have late lunch.”
He also accuses the station commander of putting her hands inside his shirt in his office on one occasion. “The Minister of Police, as the national executive member responsible for the South African Police Service, is thus vicariously liable for the damages caused by the wrongful and culpable conduct of the station commander,” he argues in the summons brought in the Gauteng High Court.
His attorney, Mabu Marweshe told Kormorant that Masenamela was dismissed in 2020 after allegedly using a police vehicle without authorisation. “Ironically at the time, he was driving with two other police officers, Marweshe said. He said Masenamela reported the harassment a number of times and to different police divisions, but nothing happened. During one such meeting, he was allegedly asked to demonstrate and explain in detail how and where he was touched by the station commander.
“The Minister of Police admitted that he had received the grievances. It is a year later, and nothing was done. This raises issues that the Minister failed to act, violating the plaintiff’s constitutional right.”
Asking whether Lt Col Galant wishes to respond to the allegations, provincial police spokesperson, Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone said “Colonel Galant does not communicate with the media.”