The family of the female police officer at the centre of a row about explicit sex video pictures splashed in a daily newspaper is devastated at the disclosure.
They fear that the woman may take her own life as the scandal takes its toll on her.
“We visit her every day. She is trying to cope, but we can see she is very depressed. She is strong, but you never know what might happen,” said the police officer’s sister, Mapula Khoza.
The police officer and the correctional services officer were caught on video having sex while on duty at Leratong Hospital.
The video was allegedly filmed by the correctional officer and later circulated by a colleague, and has sparked a frenzy of gossip and speculation in Kagiso, near Krugersdorp, where the two officers live.
Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa described the exposé as “embarrassing” and “immoral”.
The two officers have since been dismissed.
On Tuesday, the police officer’s family said the incident and its subsequent publication in the media had left them heartbroken.
“The whole thing has hurt us a lot. As a family, we are going through the most difficult time of our life,” Khoza said.
She said they had been tormented since rumours about the video started circulating in the township about three weeks ago.
“There were a lot of negative remarks around us that we didn’t understand. Even when we walked into the streets or went to the shops, people would gossip and laugh while pointing fingers at us.”
It got nastier on Sunday, when she heard people talking about the video in a taxi she was travelling in to the Krugersdorp shopping mall.
“I just kept quiet, but deep inside it was hurting and embarrassing,” she said, adding that a neighbour had later that day told her brother about the video.
“My brother explained what the video was all about. I couldn’t believe it because I know my sister is a good woman,” Khoza said.
And then the unthinkable happened: “I was shocked to hear the news about pictures of my sister in the newspaper on Monday. I went out to buy the paper, but didn’t get it. How it got into the media, I don’t know,” she said.
Still worried, Khoza went to her sister’s matrimonial home.
“I found her sleeping. She looked very depressed. She was trying to stay calm and strong, but I could see she was struggling,” she said, adding that her sister and her husband had been married for 15 years.
Khoza added: “She said it’s not something she had planned and was full of regret, especially because she had put her mother and husband through a lot of pain.”
The family was also disturbed at rumours on Tuesday that her sister had committed suicide.
“We heard rumours that she tried to kill herself by taking pills. It’s all lies and shows how insensitive people can be,” Khoza said.
She blamed the correctional officer for the exposé.
“Why he took the video, I don’t know. The worst thing is that he couldn’t even explain why he did that,” Khoza said, adding that the family had not made contact with the correctional officer.
But she has spoken to her sister’s husband. “I sympathise with him because his parents are late (sic) and we were like his own family. I spoke to him and it was clear he is hurt by the whole thing. He said ‘only God knows’.”
Khoza lashed out at the media.
“I am very disappointed and angry. They didn’t even try to approach us. But what we ask ourselves is: did they think about how this will affect my sister’s children and their education?” she asked.
Also devastated was the police officer’s mother, who asked to be identified by her first name, Malebo.
“She might have made a mistake, but I know she is a respectful and honest person. She is a Christian and regular churchgoer. I am hurt, but I will leave everything to God.”
The Commission for Gender Equality and Media Monitoring condemned the use of the explicit photos and questioned the way the story was covered.
National police spokesman Vishnu Naidoo condemned the police reservist for “embarrassing her colleagues” and “bringing the police into disrepute”, adding that publishing the pictures was “insensitive”, particularly as children had access to the newspaper. – The Star
South African Police caught in a sex scandal. This all went down inside a hospital. We heard the female popo was also married.. creepin with this male prison guard. Now both officers are allegedly in hospital for depression after this tape surfaced