We report long-slit spectroscopic observations of the dust-lane polar ring galaxy AM1934−563 obtained with the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) during its performance verification phase. The observations target the spectral region of the Hα, [N ii] and [S ii] emission lines, but also show deep Na i absorption lines, that we interpret as being produced by stars in the galaxy. We derive rotation curves along the major axis of the galaxy that extend out to about 8 kpc from the centre for both the gaseous and the stellar components, using the emission and absorption lines. We derive similar rotation curves along the major axis of the polar ring and point out differences between these and the ones of the main galaxy.
We identify a small diffuse object visible only in Hα emission and with a low velocity dispersion as a dwarf H ii galaxy and argue that it is probably metal poor. Its velocity indicates that it is a fourth member of the galaxy group in which AM1934−563 belongs.
We discuss the observations in the context of the proposal that the object is the result of tidal mater transfer from a major neighbour galaxy and point out some observational discrepancies from this explanation. We argue that an alternative scenario that could better fit the observations may be the slow accretion of cold intergalactic gas, focused by a dense filament of galaxies in which this object is embedded.
Given the pattern of rotation we found, with the asymptotic rotation of the gas in the ring being slower than that in the disc while both components have approximately the same extent, we point out that AM1934−563 may be a galaxy in which a dark matter halo is flattened along the galactic disc and the first object in which this predicted behaviour of polar ring galaxies in dark matter haloes is fulfilled.