A captain in the South African Police Service (SAPS) is being investigated for his possible involvement in the death of a 31-year-old woman.
Moses Dlamini, national spokesperson of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID), said that, while investigations were still in the early stages, a case of “death as a result of police involvement” was being investigated.
“We received the docket yesterday and will be investigating,” Dlamini said.
The investigation follows the death of Maryka Kleinhans, 31, whose body was found by the side of the road on Sunday night.
The local newspaper reported that Kleinhans had apparently jumped from a moving vehicle and had sustained serious head injuries.
The police captain in question, who drove the vehicle, was reportedly on the scene and was “emotional”.
According to The Citizen, the couple had earlier had an argument.
Kleinhans’ parents, Johan and Petro Bezuidenhout, told the Middelburg Observer that they did not approve of the relationship between their daughter and the captain and that they suspected foul play.
Attempts by that newspaper to reach the captain were unsuccessful, reporter Daleen Naudé confirmed to News24 on Wednesday.
News24 cannot reveal the name of the officer, as he has not yet been charged with a crime nor appeared in court.
Dlamini could not confirm whether the captain was still on duty or whether he has been suspended. “That is a matter for the SAPS,” Dlamini said.
Calls to the Middelburg SAPS went unanswered.
The same captain was reportedly involved in an incident in February 2016, when he allegedly dropped a seemingly intoxicated woman on a pavement after carrying her out of a local bar.
The Citizen published CCTV footage of the policeman carrying the woman out of the bar in the early hours of the morning. She was reportedly found covered in blood hours later in front of a house where she and her parents had used to live.
Middelburg Observer in 2016 published a long list of allegations of a sexual nature against the captain dating back to 1998. These included allegations of drugging women, sexual assault, rape and fondling.
He was, however, never convicted on any of the allegations.