A Masiphumelele man has been charged with public indecency and indecent exposure after he allegedly “revealed” himself to several people in Fish Hoek.
One of the witnesses was a Fish Hoek High School pupil and her siblings.
The man, who cannot be named as he has yet to plead, was arrested on Thursday July 30 and appeared in the Simon’s Town Magistrate’s Court on Friday July 31.
Since the incident on Tuesday July 21, the Fish Hoek Community Police Forum (CPF) has laid a complaint of alleged misconduct against the Fish Hoek visible
police (Vispol) commander who initially took statements from the alleged victims.
In a letter to the station commander, the CPF alleges that the Vispol commander was negligent because he released the suspect on a warning, on the same day, and said he could not be
arrested due to Covid-19 regulations and because a police officer had not witnessed the alleged crime.
Daniel Barnes, a Silverglades Neighbourhood Watch member, said he had responded to a
message on a neighbourhood watch crime group about a “suspicious-looking man” near the civic centre.
Mr Barnes said he had driven to the area and seen a man sitting on the Fifth Avenue pavement. The man had had his hands over his groin, which had been partially covered by his shirt, he said.
The man had told him he was waiting for a friend before getting up and walking over to Mr Barnes’s car.
“This is when he exposed himself to me, and it looked like he was masturbating. He put his elbow on the roof of my car, and I asked him to put his junk back in his pants. He did not seem to be ashamed or alarmed by this at all.”
Mr Barnes said he had flagged down a police vehicle and two officers had taken the man aside, questioned him and then released him.
Mr Barnes said he had then left the scene, but about an hour later, another call had come in reporting that the man was now near Fish Hoek High School on 16th Avenue where he had allegedly exposed himself to a matric pupil as well as her two siblings who had been waiting in a car to pick her up.
The man was later arrested near the four-way-stop in Kommetjie Road and taken to Fish Hoek Police station.
CPF chairman Andre Blom said the three children, along with Mr Barnes, had felt it was necessary to open a case and had given their statements to the Vispol commander at the police station.
The mother of the three
teenagers, who asked not to be named to protect their identity, said the incident had happened very close to the high school and it had been traumatic for all her children.
Parents should be aware that this was happening in the valley, and children and parents should be vigilant, she said.
“It was not a pleasant experience for them,” she said.
However, she said, since the incident, police had been very helpful and had communicated with them regularly about the case and offered her children counselling.
However, Mr Blom said the suspect should never have been released.
“This is unacceptable as it is a very serious offence, especially in light of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s call to clamp down on sexual abuse and violence against women and children.”
The crime was a schedule-1 offence and the alleged perpetrator should not have been released on a warning, he said.
Fish Hoek police station commander Lieutenant Colonel Jackie Johnson said a case had been opened against the officer and the matter is being investigated internally.