A 23-year-old may sue police after it emerged that she was arrested while simply sitting on a bench in Sea Point and held in a jail cell overnight.
Esethu Mcinjana arrived early for an interview at a Sea Point hotel on the morning of Sunday, March 19, and made the decision to wait on a bench on the Promenade.
“I pressed the buzzer when I arrived but no one responded so I went to sit on a bench overlooking the beach,” she said to Groundup.
She was then approached by a police officer who asked her what she was doing on the bench.
“Her tone was aggressive. I explained to her that I was there for an interview but was early. She didn’t believe me and said there are no interviews on a Sunday,” she said. “She grabbed my bag and started searching it, throwing my things on the ground. My CV, a few of my toiletries and my house keys were in the bag.”
According to Mcinjana, one of the two police officers who approached her found her house keys and said, “I found what I need to.”
“She said I used the remote to rob people’s cars. I tried to explain that the remote wasn’t even working but I was using it as a key holder,” she said. “I tried to show the police officer the email that shows I was there for an interview but she didn’t listen to me. She just put me in a holding cell.”
Mcinjana said the police still have her gate remote and house keys.
“My daughter left home for a job interview but ended up in jail. For what? She has never done anything wrong. She was looking forward to that interview,” Margaret Mcinjana, the victim’s mother, said.
Margaret told police the remote switch they had taken from her daughter’s bag no longer worked and was being used as a keyring.
Sea Point SAPS spokesperson, Captain Elizabeth Munro, said Mcinjana had been found to be in possession of “vehicle breaking” implements when police approached her on the Promenade.
However, Munro said, there were “no prospects of successful prosecution as discussed with the senior prosecutor”.