PRETORIA - President Cyril Ramaphosa has lauded the police for their swift action that led to the arrest of a man suspected of involvement in the murder of 21-year-old Limpopo student Precious Ramabulana, the presidency said on Saturday.
“Earlier in the week, I had requested Minister of Police [Bheki Cele] to spare no effort to track down the perpetrator of this heinous crime. That we have now had an arrest is truly sterling police work,” Ramaphosa said in a statement issued by the presidency.
“We are keeping our promise to the women and girls of this country that our law-enforcement authorities will not hesitate to act against perpetrators of gender-based violence [GBV]. We are making sure that violent criminals are apprehended and not left to roam the streets with impunity where they can attack again,” Ramaphosa said.
Ramabulana was attacked and killed in her student accommodation in Mokomene in Limpopo last Sunday.
“Since Precious’s death, the women of the community have told us they feel unsafe and fearful. The arrest of the suspect will not only reassure them, but bring a measure of comfort to her bereaved family,” Ramaphosa said.
Ramaphosa would visit the Ramabula family in Makhado in Limpopo on Sunday to pay his respects.
Under the national emergency action plan to combat gender-based violence and femicide approved by Parliament, Ramaphosa announced that departments had been directed to reprioritise their budgets to allocate the necessary resources to programmes to combat gender-based violence.
This included resourcing and capacitating the SAPS to enable it to investigate cases of GBV effectively.
At Monday’s launch of the annual 16 Days of Activism of No Violence against Women and Children, Ramaphosa also directed that additional capacity be provided to police forensic teams to bolster investigations. Forensic specialists formed part of the team that arrested the suspect in Botlokwa.
“I commend the SAPS for swiftly following up leads that led them to the suspect. I have the utmost confidence the same urgency will be applied to investigating all crimes of this nature around the country.
“It is in the interests of justice that this investigation should now move ahead without unnecessary delay and when appropriate, to proceed to trial,” Ramaphosa said.