Junior Mayema displays some of his injuries, allegedly caused by Cape Town police officers.
A gay Cape Town man has accused police officers of beating him after they allegedly refused to register his discrimination complaint.
Junior Mayema, 26, who fled from the DRC because of his sexual and gender identity, told Mambaonline that the incident took place on Friday night.
Mayema, who is renting a room in a house, decided to lay a complaint with the police because his landlord has refused to allow him to have visitors.
“It’s unfair discrimination. It’s also an invasion of my right to privacy,” he said. “They allow straight tenants to have visitors but not me because I am gay. They assume that if I have a man in my room he must be my boyfriend. They’ve threatened to evict me because of this.”
Mayema said that he had enough of the double standards and he and a friend went to the nearby Claremont Police Station to lay a discrimination charge. He was shocked when the officers on duty allegedly refused to let him do so, insisting that they could do nothing to help him.
He told the officers that he would report them and took their picture with his cell phone. The two officers then dragged Mayema outside and alleged attacked him.
“They started kicking and hitting me with a iron stick – even in the presence of other officers. They took my phone and deleted the pictures,” he claims.
They said to me: “This is South Africa, we will kill you. You mustn’t believe that you can be who you are here.”
They also allegedly told him that the landlord is entitled to make his own rules because it’s his house.
Mayema feared that his arm had been broken in the alleged attack, but after two visits to the hospital he’s been given the all-clear. He remains in pain and is still unable to use his arm.
However, he won’t let the matter rest, saying that it’s another incident of secondary victimisation by the authorities; a common complaint from hate crime victims.
“How can they beat up their clients?” asked Mayema. “How can they treat me like this after I came here to be safe?”
Mayema said that he will lay a charge with the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) because he’s too afraid to return to the police station.
He revealed that his landlord is again threatening to evict him, this time because he went to the police.
Mambaonline contacted the SAPS Western Cape Media Centre and was told that the SAPS could not comment on a case that is being reported to the IPID.
Mambaonline has forwarded details of the incident to members of the National Task Team on Gender and Sexual Orientation-Based Violence against LGBTI Persons.
Watch a video below of Mayema describing the attack.