As the #100MenMarch reaches the Union Buildings, the South African Police Services (SAPS) management has committed to making South Africa safer for women and children.
Police Minister Bheki Cele and his National Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole told SAnews at the march that the SAPS was committed to a vision of a society where women and children enjoy all their liberties as enshrined in the Constitution, whereby they are able to walk freely without any fear.
“We want to take it beyond this march because the scourge of how women and children are abused by men at the present moment is not acceptable. Today we are making a call to men to say until you change yourself… until you have a mental change, the scourge will continue,” Cele said on Tuesday.
According to Statistics South Africa, the country has seen a 117% increase in cases of gender-based violence between 2015 and 2016/17.
Sitole for his part said he was also there in his personal capacity. “I am supporting this march because crimes against women and children is one of the key priorities that the Minister identified for the SAPS.
“This also speaks to our turnaround vision which aims to turn the situation and meet the requirements of the National Development Plan (NDP) where women and children must walk the streets without being disturbed by any criminality. Currently, the SAPS has adopted the stabilization of the country strategy. As such crimes against women and children are a grand parcel of this normalization strategy,” Sitole explained.
During their Budget Speech in May, the SAPS declared to prioritize and intensify the fight on crimes against women this year by boosting essential services such as the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) Investigation Service.
There are currently 183 FCS Units in South Africa which creates a specialist investigative environment to deal with gender-based violent crimes including sexual offences, with a focus on serial rape-related cases, child pornography and crimes facilitated by electronic media.
Furthermore, the Police have established 1047 dedicated victim friendly facilities at police stations countrywide to accommodate and assist victims.
The SAPS top management was joined by about 1 200 police trainees to support the march. The Minister said they want the new recruits to understand how to take care of women and how to behave and make women safe. – SAnews.gov.za