“This is another sort of discrimination. This means he was hassled in a sexual way and he did not like it. It can include someone suggesting or trying to get you to have sex, trying to touch you in a way you do not like, or displaying photographs that upset or offend you. Sexual harassment is against the law in South Africa.” Mangena added.
Vurgee Tshabalala was allegedly sexually assaulted by three men who had offered him a lift from Soshanguve, South Africa to town last week. On their way, the men stopped the car, and forced him to take off his clothes. “They told me they wanted to see my private parts and then sexually assaulted me,” said Tshabalala.
The gay man went to open a case with the police but instead the officers burst into laughter and made fun of him. According to Pretoria North Reckord, the police officers who treated Tshbalalala with scorn could themselves face the law after he was advised to file a case with the independent police investigative directorate.
The directorate investigates cases of misconduct against the police. Soshanguve police spokesperson, Lolo Mangena said:
“Legally that is discrimination. When you are treated unfairly in certain areas of the law, that is discrimination. That is not how we operate as police. If you are treated unfairly or differently from other people because of gender, sexual orientation, religion, skin colour, political or intellectual ability, a complaint can be laid against the police officers who assisted him. That is if he can remember them, their names, or at least can identify them.”
Mangena said Tshabalala’s ordeal at the police station was tantamount to sexual assault. Mangena advised him to file a complaint with the directorate.