After the incident, Muller used a friend’s iPod to track the location of his phone and went to the Brooklyn Police Station.
Muller told Perdeby that he had to wait for a police officer to get off of the phone before he was helped. He then had to wait for an hour for a police car to arrive and assist him. The police took him to the location where he tracked his phone, and Muller then identified a man as the suspect. The police made no arrests.
Muller further stated, “I was taken back to the station and gave my statement to a woman who kept insisting that she was tired. I was also told that a case cannot be made without more information about my cell phone. When I returned the following day with this information nobody knew where my statement was or what had happened to it.”
The student later received a phone call from warrant officer Ndala at the Sunnyside Police Station telling him that they had taken over the case.
“When I asked the officer why the man was not arrested, he told me that he doesn’t know what happened previously. The officer then told me that I should drive to where the mugging had happened and if the man is there I should call the police to have him arrested. The officer then insisted that he did not have to phone me and that he was doing me a favour. After this incident my case was moved to a new investigation officer, who I have yet to hear from,” Muller said.
In response to the student’s complaints the Brooklyn Police Station gave the following comment: “Mr Muller’s claims that he waited for an hour before being assisted is viewed in a serious light by the management of the Brooklyn police station. With feedback from the community, the service at Brooklyn is reviewed regularly and improvements are made where necessary. Community Services Centres at any police station are by nature very busy at times.”
The station further stated that people who are experiencing emergencies are prioritised. Furthermore, complainants are interviewed and complaints are investigated, which may lead to longer waiting periods in the Community Service Centre.
“The Brooklyn police work diligently to improve service delivery. Every person who visits the station is invited to report any shortfalls and/or positive comments via e-mail or by completing feedback forms which are available in the Community Service Centre,” the Brooklyn Police Station told Perdeby.
The University of Pretoria’s Department of Security Services told Perdeby that they encourage students who have complaints about the South African Police Services to go to security services, who will then help the students to deal with the complaint. The department further stated that incidents such as muggings on or near campus should be reported to them so that they can provide immediate assistance.
Photo: Ilana van Heerden