A Ramotswa man has told of how police detained, tortured and denied him access to his daily Anti Retroviral (ARV) dosage.
Collern Molatlhwe, 42, who is an ex-convict this week told of how police in Ramotswa were using his criminal past as an excuse to detain him for every crime that takes place in the village.
“I am a reformed ex-convict and I am determined to rebuild my life.
I have repaid society for the crimes I committed during my dark days by serving time in jail, but the police are not helping the situation because they’re always on my back.
My already strained relationship with my family is not getting any better because whenever a crime is committed they come to my house and put me in shackles only to release me later.
The sad thing is that all this happens in full view of my parents and young children.
How will society tolerate me when I’m always in chains,” he says as tears settle in his eyes.
On the weekend that he claims to have been denied access to his medication, Molatlhwa who had been preparing to go to Bokamoso Secondary School where he was doing maintenance work, says police officers took him to the police station and detained him accusing him of housebreaking and theft.
“On the date that they said the crime took place I was at work and I even told them to ask my employers at Bokamoso Secondary School but they refused.
They locked me in the police cell even when I told them I needed to get my medication.
They forced me to explain what medication it was even when I was not ready to reveal my HIV status,” he said.
Molatlhwa who is determined to take legal action against the police said he stayed for two days without his medication and that it was only when they realized that he was refusing to eat the food they served him that they released him.
“I have since lodged a complaint with the District Commissioner’s office and I intend to approach human rights organizations so they can help me seek legal recourse.
I have realised that the police are not taking my situation seriously and I doubt if my complaint has reached their superiors,” he added.
Superintendent Sarah Gabathuse of Ramotswa police says she has not been briefed about Molatlhwe’s situation.
“I am not aware of such an incident as I have been busy with other duties but I’ll enquire about it,” she said.