Assistant teacher and community worker, Cecelia Atkins, 38, says she was thrown into a filthy holding cell and kept behind bars for hours after being told by cops to go and report an attempted burglary at the Steenberg Police Station.
The traumatised woman says she tried to report two skelms who attempted to break into her house, but instead was “treated like an animal” and left to vomit on herself as she gasped for air in a cell filled with human faeces.
“Yesterday I woke up because I heard someone at my gate,” the mother explains.
“When I went to look, I saw two guys trying to break in.
“I called the police station and they sent a van to my house. The cops told me I must go to the station and report the incident.”
But on arrival at the station, she got a skrik when an officer arrested her, claiming she had violated the lockdown regulations.
“They asked me where is my mask, and I said it’s at home because it is dirty,” she says.
“They didn’t give me a chance to explain about the burglary.
“I came out of my lockdown because I needed to report the case, but he shouted: “Hey, wil jy nog baie praat?”
“Then he threatened to fine me, but I was crying and he started rukking me and you can see the bruises.
“They put me in a cell full of popo where they had put a mattress over the toilet.
“I was alone in the cell and the popo was coming out of the toilet. I was so naar trying to breathe I even vomited on myself. It was filthy. ”
She was held in custody for five hours while her children waited for her to return.
“I was in hell just thinking about my children alone at home,” the mom says.
“Then they gave me a fine of R1500, but I will not pay it.
“I will go to court and fight this because I will not have a criminal record.
“I have never been in prison. How can police treat us like this? I walked away mistreated.
“The cop stood on my feet deliberately to hurt me and when he gave me the fine, I refused to sign and he spat in my face,” the crying woman says.
Steenberg police did not respond to questions about the arrest.