Andy Kawa has walked a long road to find some semblance of justice after she was raped for hours on the Port Elizabeth beachfront in 2010, but now she can begin to patch her life together after the Port Elizabeth High Court ruled on Thursday that police had handled her case negligently.
Acting judge Sarah Sephton found that the police should be held responsible for the trauma Kawa had experienced and that a portion of the damages claim must be paid to Kawa.
She found the police liable for 40% of damages proved.
Kawa, 51, said from her Johannesburg home that it had been a long and tough road to justice, but she was very happy with the outcome.
“You actually have to chase and fight for it [justice].
“This case is not only about me but about other victims of rape in similar positions where their cases are not properly investigated.
“The ruling sends a clear message to victims that their voices can be heard.”
Kawa said the judgment showed that police did not meet the standard requirements with regard to their duties to the public as enshrined in the constitution.
She said she felt a degree of closure in that she was heard and listened to by the courts.
“The first prize would be for the perpetrators to be caught.
“This case is not just for me but for others like me.”
Kawa instituted the claim against the police, former Humewood police station commander Brigadier Ronald Koll and two police officers, Warrant Officer Matabata Madubedube and Sergeant Adine Solomon, for negligence and for failing to investigate the case properly.
She claimed police had failed in their duties when they did not find her when searching for her after they were alerted to her abandoned car in the Kings Beach parking lot.