24 June 2019

South Africa: Investigation Into Esethu Mcinjana Arrest 'Almost Finalised' Say Police

A month later, police have not yet returned Mcinjana's house keys to her

A month after Esethu Mcinjana was arrested on the Sea Point beachfront while waiting for a job interview, police say the investigation into her arrest "is almost finalised".

The 23-year-old from Blue Downs was arrested for being in possession of "vehicle breaking implements". Mcinjana says she was actually waiting for a job interview at a hotel. She had arrived an hour earlier and she was taking selfies on the beach front when SAPS Sergeant Smith approached her and demanded to search her bag.

The "vehicle breaking implement" was an old, plastic remote control which Mcinjana uses as a key holder.

Police have not yet returned her house keys to her.

Although the hotel confirmed the interview with the police that day, she was still held overnight on Sunday 19 May at the Sea Point police station. She was released on the Monday at 3pm.

After GroundUp reported the incident on 23 May there was a public outcry and the hashtag #justiceforEsethu circulated on Twitter.

Mcinjana says representatives from the SAPS provincial legal services came to her house to take a statement on 29 May. She showed them the video she had taken of the incident.

"They told me that I would hear back from them once the investigation is complete," said Mcinjana.

A week later, the Western Cape Police Ombudsman also came to take a statement.

Western Cape police spokesperson Noloyiso Krwexana said last week, "The investigation into the matter involving Esethu Mcinjana is almost finalised; the outcome will be made known to the media in due time."

Police did not answer GroundUp's questions on when Mcinjana could expect to receive her house keys back, and whether or not Smith and the other arresting officer were still working while the investigation was underway.

However, sources at the Sea Point police station say Smith has been on "leave".

After the GroundUp report, Mcinjana was called by the hotel and given a chance to attend a job interview. Her application was successful and she has been accepted for a paid learnership, starting 1 July.

Mcinjana says she is grateful for the support she has received from people after her ordeal.

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