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Saturday, 27 September 2008

'Black cops threatened my 11-year old child'

from SAS, Uhuru Guru

Pretoria Metro Police officers on Tuesday allegedly hauled away a father and left the two young White children in his care to fend for themselves at a city dump.

Koen Rouan's daughter, Ashley, 11, and his nephew, Jason Tetlow, 12, screamed for the officers to release him, but they would hear nothing of it and even threatened to arrest the little girl.

"She was screaming hysterically and banging on the Metro Police kombi," said Rouan, "but they said she would be arrested too if she didn't stop it and drove away".

He said after leaving the children at the dump, the officers took Rouan to a local police station where one of them, a Sergeant Sebola, issued him with a R2 500 fine for illegal dumping and allowed him to leave.

The drama unfolded on Tuesday at about 1.45pm, soon after Rouan had picked up the two youngsters from school.

He received a call from an employee who was at the Tshwane Metro Council's Centurion mini dump site who claimed that the workers there would not accept the cut trees he wanted to dump.

"But they had accepted a similar load the day before."

Rouan said when he arrived, none of the dump employees approached him so he went ahead and started offloading the plant material into a bin.

It was then that he got into an altercation with a group of about 10 dump employees who threatened to call the police.

"I said they could do that because I had done nothing wrong.

The police arrived and arrested him.

He said he was accused of resisting arrest and hauled off into the Metro Police Toyota Quantum.

He said the police ignored his concerns about his children, who were left in the company with the 10 men with whom he had just had an argument with.

Fortunately he was able to call his brother Johan to pick them up, who did so speedily.

"When my uncle arrived he just hugged us and asked if we were okay," said Jason.

A shy Ashley said she was scared and heartbroken when the police took her father.

"I accept the fine if I did something wrong, but I have a problem with the way the children were treated and that they were left at the dump site on their own," said Rouan.

Metro police spokesperson Senior Superintendent Alta Fourie said they viewed the allegations in a serious light and would start investigating the matter as soon as it was officially reported to their head office.

She said standard procedure when detaining a person who has children in their care was to either take the children to the police station or to call someone to pick them up.

"We will investigate this matter and if the officers are found guilty we'll take the necessary steps," she said.

Rouan said he would be laying a complaint with the metro police.

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