“Cele should get serious about GBVF”

News Politics

Tebogo Msimanga |

The George Family Violence Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) unit, proved how effectively the police can fight back against violence against women and children. This is the sentiment of Action Society Spokesperson Ian Cameron.

The FCS unit arrested 12 sex offenders between 23 and 25 March in George and surrounding Garden Route towns.

Cameron said the dedication of this team has brought the victims one step closer to justice. “Members of the South African Police Services (SAPS) work under serious constraints and dismal top management but are still dedicated to fighting crime and putting violent criminals behind bars.”

Cameron added that the arrests of these perpetrators, which all were known and identified by their victims, and three of whom had warrants of arrest issued, “is a great accomplishment in the fight against the pandemic of Gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF) in the country.”

He further said with the ongoing DNA backlog crisis, the victims of these heinous crimes will, unfortunately, wait for anything between 18 months and 3 years to get their day in court. “Minister Cele has been talking about the eradication of the backlog by August 2022, but fails to mention how the National Forensic Science Laboratories (NFSL) is currently dealing with new cases they receive daily”.

“The shocking reality for the victims is that only 8.6% of sexual offence cases are finalised with a guilty verdict.  Less than one in five rape cases even make it to trial and prosecutors withdrew almost half (46.3%) of cases they had enrolled before the trial started. If FCS units across the country are empowered, they can, with good police work and enough resources, help to drastically improve the conviction rate.

Cameron reiterated that minister Bheki Cele should follow the example of the George FCS unit and put more effort and groundwork into the fight against GBVF, which he should be leading. “With almost 150 rape cases being reported and 8 women murdered in our country daily, the time for lip service has long passed”.

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