Charlie Niemann, 29, was arrested for drink driving – something he denies – when he went out in his car to a local shop with his toddler daughter Cherise.
The furious dad claims after his arrest, cops refused to take the little girl home to her mum or allow him to make a call to enable her to be collected - instead putting her in a cell for the night.
Her mum Stephanie, 30, says the experience has left her little girl 'terrified' of police officers.
Cherise is said to be so traumatised by the incident on January 6, that she is now having counselling to try and deal with the panic attacks brought on by the mere sight of a policeman.
Her parents say that officers at the police station in Hazyview, Johannesbury, South Africa would not even let the little girl have a drink of water, despite her being hysterical.
The Daily Mail reports that Cherise was 'forced to sleep in a cold, bare holding cell with her father as the unfamiliar sound of slamming doors, clanging chains and abusive drunks echoed throughout the police station'.
Her dad has branded the officers 'inhuman' and has filed a complaint. A spokesperson for the police department said it was against the law to lock up a child in a police cell and that there would be an investigation.