Govt applauds SA courts for serving justice

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Pretoria – Government has welcomed the sentences handed down in various courts recently related to violence against women and children.

In a statement issued by the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) on Thursday, government welcomed the life imprisonment sentencing of Xolile Tose by the Eastern Cape High Court for raping a six-year-old girl in 2011 and the sentencing of Shinawaaz Ahmento and Kyle Fredericks, who received 23 years and 15 years respectively, for raping and strangling Tracey-Lee Martins in 2013.

Acting GCIS CEO, Phumla Williams, said: “Government applauds the South African judicial system and law enforcement agencies for their tireless efforts in ensuring that justice was served in both cases.

“These sentences demonstrate that government will not tolerate the abuse of women and children and serve as a deterrent to other perpetrators.”

Since South Africa attained democracy, government has and continues to strive to ensure that the constitutional rights of women and children are upheld in South Africa.

Their rights are entrenched in the Constitution, which is the cornerstone of democracy in South Africa.

“Government will not tolerate the abuse of children and women; and will not allow this to define us as a country. During this freedom month, all citizens should reflect on the pivotal role played by women and children, in attaining the freedom we now enjoy,” said Acting CEO Williams.

Minister of Arts and Culture Paul Mashatile earlier today launched Freedom Month. South Africans annually commemorate the first post-apartheid elections, held on 27 April 1994, where South Africans of all races got to vote.

A recent government initiative to protect women and children’s constitutional rights was the launch of the pilot phase of the Command Centre on Gender-Based Violence.

“Government calls on victims to utilise the 24-hour call centre that is dedicated to provide support and counseling to victims of gender-based violence,” said Acting CEO Williams.

Victims of violence and abuse are encouraged to use the toll free number 0800 428 428 (0800 GBV GBV) to speak to a social worker for assistance and counseling.

Callers can also request a social worker from the Command Centre to contact them by dialing *120*7867# (free) from a cellphone.

Government has also put in place supporting legislation specifically aimed at protecting women and children and policies and programmes aimed at fighting crime in the country.  –

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