Charged Western Cape traffic police chief must be suspended pending the outcome of sexual harassment trial

Action Society fully supports the call for senior provincial traffic police chief, Farrel Payne, to be suspended while he faces charges of sexual assault, crimen injuria and attempting to commit a sex act in October 2020.

“It is unfair that a victim cannot return to work but a charged potential perpetrator can continue working in uniform as a senior traffic police chief. He should have been suspended when he was charged.  If he is found guilty, Payne should be sacked and if his innocence is proven, which he has a right to, he should continue with his work at the Western Cape provincial traffic police department.” said Ian Cameron, director of community safety at Action Society.

In June 2021, there was an uproar in the Western Cape legislature when it was revealed that despite being charged and undergoing an internal disciplinary process and investigation, Payne was still at his post.

“It is not up to the department to determine whether evidence is prima facie, or not, this is a criminal matter which must be decided in a court of law. There, the relevant parties will have the opportunity the stand. Payne must be suspended as formal charges were already laid and he is out on bail of R 5 000. He is due to appear in court again later in March,” said Cameron.

“There is a disturbing trend in South Africa, where some public officials become sexual predators.  In a country where we are fighting a battle against the pandemic of gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF) this is completely unacceptable, and it has to stop immediately.”

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