5 working cars for 25 detectives, 1 cellphone, no airtime - The plight of cops working at SA’s ’rape capital’
Durban - INANDA, the country’s rape capital two years in a row, has only five working vehicles shared between 25 detectives in the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences unit (FCS).
The unit also investigates cases in KwaMashu, Ntuzuma, Newlands East, Greenwood Park and Phoenix.
Police sources told the Daily News the lack of resources was a major challenge in conducting investigations.
They said the shortage of vehicles for detectives had been a problem for years.
“Four detectives share a vehicle when doing work locally. One pair is forced to wait in the car while the other pair is interviewing witnesses and locating suspects, before moving to the next destination for the other pair to do their work. Not only does this cause delays, but it is also an unprofessional way for the police to conduct detective work. When two detectives are working on one case, they should be allocated a vehicle 24 hours a day,” said the sources.
Despite having complained several times to management about the issue of vehicles, the fleet had not been increased, they said.
“When we have to travel to conduct investigations outside the province, we can’t use any of the five vehicles as they aren’t roadworthy for a long-distance. We borrow vehicles from the provincial SAPS. The FCS unit is one of the busiest and the Inanda unit received the most cases and should have been prioritised when it comes to the allocation of resources.
“Our complaints have always fallen on deaf ears,” said an officer.
Several protests have taken place in Inanda because of the escalating number of rape cases recorded in the area.
Police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said the FCS unit at Inanda had an unusually high number of vehicles in the garage due to mechanical breakdowns and a number of vehicles being recommended for boarding.
“This has been brought to the attention of the FCS Unit head in KZN who is dealing with matters,” she said.
The officers also said the unit has only one state cellphone that rotates between the 25 detectives and is usually allocated to the detective on standby.
“Not even halfway through the month, we find we are unable to make calls because the phone has run out of airtime. It is such an embarrassment to tell a rape victim or a witness that as a police officer you cannot make a call because the state cellphone has no airtime,” said an officer.
INANDA FCS SUCCESSES DESPITE THE ODDS
THE Daily News reported last year that despite challenges, Inanda Family Violence Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit (FCS) detectives solved more than 100 rape cases.
Sergeants Mndeni Mzila and Vusi Shinga secured lengthy jail terms in the high and regional courts and have put away 70 rapists, including serial rapists, since 2016.
Their work led to serial rapist Mlungisi Mjoli being sentenced to seven life imprisonment terms for the rapes of several women, one of whom was seven months’ pregnant at the time, and an additional 76 years.
They also ensured the conviction and sentencing of Moses Mavila, 29, to 32 life imprisonment terms for rape and 425 years for robbery and assault. Mzila and Shinga were also behind
the conviction of Amos Ngobeni, who stalked the streets of Inanda and raped 19 women over the years. He was sentenced to 10 life terms and 235 years’ imprisonment in December 2018.