Cherise Niemann, 3, spent a night in a police cell after her dad was arrested for drunk driving.
Vania van der Heever, Rapport
Johannesburg– Police say they are investigating an incident in which a little girl was locked up in a police cell with her father.
Rapport reported how Hazyview resident Charlie Niemann, 29, was arrested on 6 January for drunk driving and thrown in an icy cold police cell with Cherise, 3, who was barefoot and only wearing pyjamas.
Niemann said he had drunk two beers earlier in the evening but denied being drunk when he drove down to the cafe to buy milk for his daughter and cigarettes for himself.
Police officers took the toddler to the police station and refused to take her home or let the child’s dad make a phone call.
“It was terrible. My child was hysterical. The officials were inhuman. They even refused to give her water. When we got there and Cherise was crying, one threatened to throw her in a police cell if I couldn’t get her to calm down.”
His wife, Stephanie, 30, who was pregnant with the couple’s second child, said she expected the worst when the two didn’t come back from the café.
We have taken Cherise to a counsellor and she is getting better. But she is scared of police officers. Whenever she sees a police car, she looks for her dad and starts crying hysterically.”
Niemann has laid a charge against the police with the independent complaints directorate.
A police spokesperson said it was illegal to lock up a child in a police cell and said it would be investigated.
And this is just another South African story the world may or may not get to hear…….
Here are a some comments received on the story from South Africans on news24
What does it matter if he was sober or drunk. The fact is a 3 year old girl was locked up in a police cell by some arrogant thing that does not deserve to be called a policeman. SA is loosing respect for the police day by day and idiots like these officers should be thrown out of the police.
In a normal country yes I agree completely but in SA. Was he tested? Or was he cheeky? Was he stopped for a bribe? But why throw a child into a gaol cell? Insanity reigns.
The father said he only had 2 beers which is usually on the limit. And we don’t know how long after consuming the beers he was driving. The police have not said anything in return. Therefore to accuse the father of endangering the child without all the facts is premature and shortsighted.
I lived in Johannesburg for a year, they really do pull you over for nothing. They expect bribes and if you refuse they get angry…
CNN would not bother with these stories, yet if the color’s were reversed it would be breaking news.