Singer Simphiwe Dana has laid into the criminal justice system after sharing how she was kept in a holding cell after her ex-fiancé laid counter-charges of assault against her.
On December 30, Dana opened a case of assault and intimidation against Leshoto Itsweng at the Norwood police station, after sharing the details of the alleged incident on social media a few days earlier.
“These actions on her part were prompted by him physically attacking her, and subsequently threatening her against pressing charges,” a statement issued this week on her behalf read.
The police informed her on Monday he had opened a case of assault and crimen injuria against her and she would be arrested and imprisoned as a result.
Dana handed herself in at the Norwood police station on Thursday and was kept in the holding cells.
According to her statement, the prosecutor declined to prosecute her, dismissed the charges and ordered her release.
“My experience has been a disturbing revelation about how the criminal justice system can be manipulated to re-victimise and harass victims of intimate partner abuse,” Dana said.
“In no way am I suggesting that counter-charges should not be fully investigated – but I do believe that a re-examination of how they are [handled] is overdue. As things stand, pressing counter-charges is increasingly being used as a weapon to intimidate women into dropping charges.”
She said she would continue with her case and was committed to seeing it through to the end.
– Compiled by Jenna Etheridge