A Pretoria police captain will appear in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court for allegedly intimidating and degrading his colleagues and calling them the k-word.
Captain Jaco Henrico is facing charges of crimen injuria.
Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) said it had been approached by several police officers to assist them with a watching brief in this matter.
In a statement, the LHR said a number of black officers at the Pretoria Police Station had filed internal and criminal complaints against Henrico for a number of acts of racism against them, dating back to 2016.
“The officers and their union representatives have been fighting for the enforcement of procedures and appropriate measures against persons accused of such offences including related remedial action to ensure that it is properly addressed within the police station for over two years. This matter marks a significant milestone in their quest for justice,” the LHR said.
The organisation said officers say their complaints have not been addressed.
“Some police officials also allege that complainants face further victimisation after opening internal departmental and criminal cases.”
The LHR praised the National Prosecuting Authority’s decision to take the matter to trial, saying it “sends a strong message that racism has serious consequences and hopefully this will lead to the South African Police Services (SAPS) properly investigating internal complaints of racism within their police stations.”
“Racism has no place in our post-democratic South Africa, particularly not in the very institutions charged with protecting the rights of all South Africans and being the custodians of the equality clause of our Constitution,” said LHR attorney, Wayne Ncube.