An abused constable’s life of hell

Everson Luhanga

The cop – Part 1 of Battered by boyfriends

Constable Ovuwa Ramafamba is stationed at Vuwani police station in Limpopo.

She says she suffered at the hands of her lover and is lucky to have survived.

Constable Ramafamba regrets staying in the abusive relationship as long as she did.

At the time of her abuse, she was a sector commander at Sandton police station and lived in the Johannesburg inner city with her boyfriend, a motor mechanic.

For the four years that she was in a relationship with him, she says she never enjoyed her love life. “My boyfriend would come home from work and swear at me. He would tell me that I was ugly, how bad I was in bed and compare me with other women who I did not know,” she says.

Night of horror

On the night of 29 April 2017, she says she had just come back from work when he started swearing at her in front of her two-year-old daughter. 

“After my daughter went to bed, he locked the bedroom door behind him and put the keys in his pocket. He then started beating me.”

She tells the story of a night of horror:

  • “He threatened to throw me from the seventh-floor balcony
  • “While beating me, he said he wanted to crush my head with a gearbox
  • “He undressed me and made me walk naked while he took pictures and videos of me
  • “He posted my naked pictures and videos on my work WhastApp group and to all my contacts
  • “He put on my work boots and walked over me while I begged him to spare my life
  • “He stabbed me with scissors
  • “He smashed my head with an iron
  • “I was unconscious
  • “I thought that was my last of life”

Constable Ramafamba says she was found the following morning around 5 o’clock when a security guard outside noticed blood dripping from the seventh floor. 

“According to the security guard, he found me naked hanging from the bathroom window where my boyfriend had locked me and left me to die.

“The saviour guard called the cops and the ambulance that took me to Milpark hospital.”

Constable Ramafamba – after she was attacked

She says her man waited for the police and handed himself over. He was arrested and charged with attempted murder. He has been in police custody ever since.

She says it is particularly difficult for a policewoman to deal with such an attack as “society wants us to be perfect and protect them”. 

  • “They see you as a weak and incompetent officer
  • “If you tell the next person about your domestic problem, people laugh at you
  • “They will be asking you questions like ‘why didn’t you shoot at him?’”

But this was just the beginning. 

Constable Ramafamba says her “horror life” had just started.

Three months in hospital

She says that while in hospital the state stopped paying her, accusing her of abandoning work – and she was asked to pay some of her money back.

  • “I was in hospital from 30 April to 28 July 2017
  • “I was pushed out of hospital because my medical aid had lapsed
  • “I am still owing the state since then.”

She says the commanders at work didn’t want to listen to her story.

  • “They didn’t want to help me
  • “I was left in the cold
  • “Broke
  • “Nowhere to go”

“I was tempted to withdraw the charges against him so that he could support me financially,” Constable Ramafamba says.

“He is a shadow of hatred towards men that I carry.”

Constable Ramafamba – back at work