Tebogo Msimanga |
Police Minister, General Bheki Cele, has called on officers to prioritise the safety of women and children this festive season. Cele visited a policing area in Thohoyandou in Limpopo which recorded the second-highest number of rape cases in the country during July and September this year.
The visit to the Limpopo province forms part of the annual Safer Festive Season Inspection Tour. Cele said while the high rape statistics are shocking, police in Thohoyandou and around the country must at all times prioritise assisting survivors of gender-based violence (GBV) in their time of need and ensure that perpetrators of these heinous crimes are arrested swiftly.
“I know there are many officers who go beyond the call of duty every day to help GBV victims. However, it is deeply disturbing that some chose to disgrace the service and subject victims to substandard treatment at police stations and in some instances even turn people away.”
Cele added that these crimes can be prevented through police visibility in areas of leisure, since the National Crime Statistics indicates sexual assaults and attacks most likely occur in the vicinity where alcohol is consumed.”
Meanwhile, the first day of the Safer Festive Season Inspection Tour also saw the police top brass visit the Malamulele police station which was attacked and robbed by 10 armed suspects last month. The gang made off with high calibre weapons and shotguns as well as ammunition. Minister Cele reiterated that it’s unacceptable that those responsible are still at large. He called on the police to step up their investigations into this robbery and find the stolen weapons, before they are used to commit more crime