Police Minister Bheki Cele, while addressing the media at a gender-based violence (GBV) dialogue on Monday 31 August, revealed that from the start of April this year, 21 203 cases of domestic violence were reported, with 14 779 suspects charged.
"The brutal killing of women in this country is a shame I carry each day as a South African, as a Cabinet member, a member of society, a father and as a man," said Cele.
"It's a fact; men commit these heinous gender-based crimes. It is often men that the women know, men that they love and men that they trust," he added.
GBV VICTIMS AND SURVIVORS MUST HAVE ACCESS TO CRIMINAL JUSTICE
Cele said pillar 3 of the National Strategic Plan on GBV tasks the security cluster with ensuring that all GBV victims and survivors are able to access criminal justice.
According to Cele, they should access a system that is efficient and sensitive to the needs of survivors, whilst being accessible and responsive.
"In our response to Gender-based Violence and Femicide, the police are making progress in resourcing specialised units that deal with GBV cases with both funding and human capital," he said.
FSC The FCS; Family Violence Child Protection Sexual Offences unit, has trained specialist detectives to investigate gender-based crimes. The FCS has made significant strides in securing justice for victims. Cele said its detectives continue to put together watertight cases that secure multiple life sentences for GBV related cases.
"From the start of April 2020 to date, 21203 cases of domestic violence were reported, with 14 779 suspects charged. The first six months of this year saw 217 life sentences handed down to 151 accused from 200 dockets of domestic violence," said Cele.
'THOSE OFFICERS WHO TURN VICTIMS AWAY DON'T HAVE A PLACE IN THE SAPS' – CELE
According to Cele, officers within the unit and officers at stations will continue to undergo specialised sensitivity training in order to provide a professional service to victims.
"The treatment of victims and survivors of GBV with compassion and professionalism is a policy of the SAPS," he said.
"However, the treatment of some complainants of domestic violence at police stations remains a concern. Ladies and Gentlemen, those officers, who choose not to comply with the policy of the SAPS which is to treat victims with respect and dignity. Those officers who shame us by turning victims away, don't have a place in the SAPS," he added.
Cele said such acts are a dereliction of duty and is a serious offence that warrants dismissal.
"Report them and we will deal with them. If anyone believes they have been failed by any men or women in blue, I encourage you to make use of our GBV complaints line which is 0800-333-177," he said.
Regarding the accessibility of rape kits, Cele said SAPS have entered into a three-year contract with a supplier of all DNA collection kits.
"These kits should be available to at all of our police stations. I am making a call to anyone who has information and evidence of shortages of kits to bring this information forward and there must be accountability," he said.