WATCH: 'We must reduce barriers to reporting gender-based crimes'
Pretoria - Police Minister Fikile Mbalula on Thursday, called on people to stop withdrawing gender-based crimes and said that he was introducing measures into the South African Police Service (SAPS) to make it easier to report these crimes to ensure they are prosecuted without being withdrawn.
“I aimed at focusing our efforts into making it easier and less traumatic to report these crimes. The continued perpetuation of these crimes emanate from the cases that get withdrawn and not reported. Often, victims say they were chased away from police station or their case was not treated seriously or they were viewed with suspicion, re-victimised, humiliated or simply ignored by our police,” Mbalula said speaking at the Action Indaba on Gender Based Violence and Protection of Vulnerable Groups in Pretoria.
“We must give communities and our vulnerable groups understanding of their rights and expectations so that we could be held to account effectively. We must reduce the gap between reported and unreported incidents of sexual offences and domestic violence; this will be a boost to efforts to prevent such violence. Let us reduce barriers to reporting these crimes. We must put our people first.”
Mbalula said the traditional unequal power relationship between men and women was abhorrent.
“The idea that a man has power over his wife; including the complete control over her property and of her daily affairs is unacceptable. This warped notion that a woman could be a man’s property instilled another idea that a husband had the right to administer physical ‘punishment’ to his wife,” he said.
“Female victims of this domestic violence often retract their police reports or suffer from the inside due to concern over the male bread winner going to jail. This compounds this cancer into emotional and financial violence against our women and vulnerable groups.”
Mbalula said the SAPS is focused on improved training, specialist policing, and visible policing.
He said it “pained” him some of the country’s public representatives are found on the on the wrong side of the law on issues of violence against women.
“These cases are very important to the public, they must be handled properly and there must be no favours nor skewed justice. Perpetrators defile the ground we walk on but we are yet to show them that indeed they do. This must change,” he said.
Ealier this month, Deputy Minister of Higher Education Mduduzi Manana was granted R5,000 bail by the Randburg Magistrate's Court in Johannesburg. Manana, 34, is facing two counts of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm sprouting from an incident where he allegedly assaulted a woman after an argument at a nightclub.
Pictures of Mandisa Duma's beaten face and a video of her allegedly being assaulted by Manana at Cubana in Fourways went viral on social media.African News Agency