File Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency

The Gauteng provincial legislature’s portfolio committee on community safety has lauded the Department of Community Safety for its role in supporting the victims of gender based violence.

Portfolio committee chairperson Mapiti Matsena also congratulated the department for the conviction of several people charged with crimes related to the violation of women.

“Though the committee noted significant progress in the convictions of perpetrators of gender-based violence, it further expressed concerns on the continuous increase of crimes committed against women and children. The committee called on the department to employ a multifaceted approach to address the underlying causes to help minimise this scourge,” Matsena said.

He welcomed the conviction of Lebogang Mokoena who was found guilty on 43 counts: 13 rape, 9 kidnapping, 9 pointing of a firearm, 2 aiding and forcing another person to commit a sexual offence on another person; this resulted in 340 years and 13 life sentences in the Quantum rape case.

Mokoena was sentenced to an additional life sentence plus 35 years for kidnapping, rape, robbery with aggravating circumstances in Rooderpoort Magistrate Court.

Matsena also praised the department for its role in assisting the seven-year-old girl who was violated at the Dros Restaurant. Ikhaya Lethemba offered her full psychosocial support as per the needs of the child victim, the mother and family.

“The murder of 7 family members in Vlakfontein which sent a shock wave throughout the whole country. Ikhaya Lethemba offered psychosocial interventions to the family and continued court support.

The Johannesburg High Court found Chauke Shadrack Xidada guilty. 

He was responsible for the criminal spree of serial rape cases on 60 charges, including 24 rape, 2 attempted rape, 5 assault, 13 robberies, 8 housebreakings, 5 kidnapping and 2 attempted murder. On 15 May 2018, he was sentenced to 23 life sentences and 245 years imprisonment.

Matsena said his committee has noted the report that the department had provided support to victims of gender-based violence by setting up victim friendly rooms and encouraging reporting of gender-based violence cases in communities and at institutions of higher learning.

“The committee had however noted through an independent verification study that some police stations such as Ratanda, Vaal Marina and Bronkorspruit lacked suitable office space and furniture for their victim friendly rooms.  The committee recommended to the department to ensure that these stations and all other stations make the necessary provision and suitable space for the Victim Empowerment Centres,” Matsena said.

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