Thursday, 27 March 2008

Cops fired for manhandling coworker

Staff Writer

March 26 2008 at 09:13AM

Two Metro Police officers found guilty of manhandling an off-duty policewoman have been fired.

Mario Batist and Timothy Ferus were found guilty on three charges last week after they handcuffed Jacqueline Kotze, of Gordon's Bay, and forced her into a police vehicle in front of her two toddlers on December 29, 2006.

Kotze, 35, who was pregnant at the time, lost the baby two weeks later and her doctor attributed this to the trauma of the incident.

The guilty verdict was delivered by an independent chairperson after a previous City of Cape Town disciplinary hearing found the two men not guilty on charges of misconduct and acting outside the scope of their duties.

'white, rich b**** with an attitude'

City of Cape Town spokesperson Pieter Cronje said on Tuesday that the two men were dismissed on the charge of failing to use arrest as a last resort.

They were also found guilty and given written warnings on the charges of failing to read the person in question her rights, and failing to be "civil, respectful, courteous and considerate", as the police manual demands.

The two men have the right to appeal against the finding but must do so by Thursday.

Kotze reportedly claimed the two men referred to her as a "white, rich b**** with an attitude" in a cellphone call while they were driving her and her daughters to the Gordon's Bay police station.

The two men charged her with "inconsiderate driving" and "riotous behaviour", and were reportedly unaware she was a police officer.

She works in the finance section of the Somerset West police station.

Kotze was diagnosed with severe depression and post-traumatic stress disorder after the incident and could not return to work.

It is believed that the family intends pursuing a criminal case against the two men and a civil case against the city for damages.

This article was originally published on page 4 of Cape Times on March 26, 2008


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