Minister in the Presidency responsible for Women, Bathabile Dlamini, has congratulated the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) for arresting a police constable, who allegedly threatened and raped his girlfriend.
“For too long, the police force has maintained a stigma of being antagonistic to victims of gender-based Violence (GBV). This arrest [reduces the] trust deficit between the police and the women of South Africa in particular, and the justice system in general. In 2017/2018, the number of sexual offences recorded by the police increased from the previous year, demonstrating a more responsive police force,” Dlamini said.
Dlamini urged other police officials to emulate the fearlessness of IPID in responding to sexual violence and all forms of gender-based offences.
She thanked Police Minister Bheki Cele for being part of the effort to mainstream gender consciousness into the functioning of police officials.
The Minister further urged all public service officials presiding over issues of violence against women and children to uphold Batho Pele principles of responding to the victim’s psychosocial needs through court processes.
“This case must show the protection of women as victims and survivors by the justice system. This arrest sends a strong message to the institutions that are supposed to give support to civil society.
“It’s a step towards ensuring that gender-based violence is not tolerated amongst the ranks of civil servants, particularly the police that are supposed to protect and defend the citizens of the country. It is also a response to the call by the GBV Robot, and the #HearMeToo theme, which represents women’s collective historical pleas for society to listen,” the Minister said.
Society is urged to join and be a part of the upcoming campaign of 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence.
Survivors and witnesses of gender-based violence can call the police at 10111 and the government’s Gender-Based Violence Command Centre to speak to social workers 24 hours a day on 0800 428 428. A Please Call Me can be sent to *120*7867#. – SAnews.gov.za