Cele issues stern warning to police who turn away GBV survivors
Durban - POLICE officers who turn away gender- based violence (GBV) survivors from police stations have no place in the SAPS.
This is according to Police Minister Bheki Cele, who said that they had received a number of reports where communities were complaining about the treatment they got at police stations.
Cele was speaking during the GBV and Femicide dialogue yesterday as part of the Justice Crime Prevention and Security cluster’s efforts to fight the problem.
Cele, who led the dialogue, was joined by a panel of officials from the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development and representatives from the National Prosecuting Authority and the Independent Police Investigative Directorate.
He said treating survivors of gender-based violence with compassion and professionalism was the policy of the SAPS.
However, he acknowledged that the treatment of some complainants of domestic violence at some police stations remained a concern. He said the policy of the SAPS was to treat survivors with respect and dignity.
“Those officers who shame us by turning survivors away don’t have a place in the SAPS.
“Such an act is a serious offence that warrants reporting them and we will deal with them,” he said.
According to Cele, from the start of April to date, 21 223 cases of gender-based violence and domestic violence were reported to the SAPS.
He said out of those, 13 777 suspects were charged.
Cele said the first six months of the year shows that 217 life sentences were handed down to 151 accused from 200 dockets of domestic violence.
“Officers within the units and officers at station level continue to undergo specialised sensitivity training in order to provide a professional service to the survivors.”
Meanwhile, Cele said the issue of rape kits had been resolved and every police station was well equipped.