Acting Commissioner of Police Colin John says the scandal in which he is accused of having an inappropriate, extremely sexually suggestive conversation with an officer of junior rank was “blown out of proportion”.
He made the comment in a call to Boom FM on Monday, during which he said he was sticking to the comments he made to the print media last week and would like to focus his attention on “what I will regard as more important things”.
The Police Welfare Association has told iWitness News that they could meet this week to discuss a letter in which a sergeant of police complained about interaction between his wife, a police constable, and the police chief, who is also married.
The sergeant, in his letter, gave the police chief seven days in which to respond to the allegation.
In his call to the radio station on Monday, John said:
“I really would have preferred not to be on air, but, out of respect for your station, I said I would just call.
“I made certain comments to the printed media last week and I am really prepared to stick by that, I do not wish to go any further. I have what I will regard as more important things to do, which is the security of the nation and I would really prefer to concentrate on that instead of having to deal with this issue because it is blown out of proportion as far as I am concerned.
“It is something that I have to deal with but I would really prefer to occupy my time doing what I am paid to do, instead of dealing with personal issues and personal allegations. So that’s all I am willing to say.”
John rebuffed questions about the development saying that he was sticking to his initial comments.
However, when asked if he thought he acted professionally and what steps he would have taken had such allegations been made against another officer, the police chief said:
“Well, like I said, they are just allegations. The newspaper printed my response to it. I would not be drawn into making any other comments as regards that. In all circumstances, I think I acted in a professional manner and that’s all I am prepared to say at this moment.”
On Sunday, Searchlight newspaper posted a series of screenshots that it said are from a WhatsApp conversation between the police chief and the female officer over a three-month period.
The formatting of the conversation shows that the screenshots were from the police chief’s phone, but it is not clear how the newspaper “obtained” the 44 screenshots –as it reported.
It has been reported elsewhere in the media that the police woman has accused the police chief of sexual assault, but iWitness News is not clear on whether that allegation was in fact made and where the alleged assault reportedly happened.
However, the screenshots — said to have reflected a conversation that took place over three months — suggest that the policewoman actively pursued her boss and, at times, accused him of ignoring her.
In one part of the message the duo plans to get together, and the police chief said such a meeting could take place at a house.
The screenshots do not give an indication of whether this meet-up actually took place.
The conversation also reveals that the woman and her husband are having marital problems for which they were undergoing counselling.
On one occasion, when the woman told John that she was not hearing from him, he reminded her that she was in marriage counselling and encouraged her to focus on her marriage.
He, however, sought to assure her that if things did not work out between she and her husband, he (John) and she could have a future together.