While the 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence is ending tomorrow, two women in blue have gone the extra mile to ensure that through their love for their work and diligence, fewer rapists and GBV perpetrators are roaming our streets.
One of them is Captain Michelle Dhawrajh, who is attached to the KwaZulu Natal Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Investigations (FCS) Unit.
With more than 20 years in the field, she still leads and conducts evening raid operations to trace wanted suspects in GBVF-related cases.
To date, she has secured 20 life sentences and a collective 70 years imprisonment for rapists and GBV perpetrators in and around Durban.
In total, 25 suspects are doing time in prison thanks to her meticulous investigative prowess.
Dhawrajh is also passionate about raising awareness and sensitising communities about reporting of rape and other sexual offences. Amongst her many assignments, Dhawrajh secured the sentencing of a 35-year-old uncle to life in prison for raping his eight-month-old niece.
In light of the 16 Days of Activism campaign, Captain Dhawrajh has urged the community to stop alcohol and drug abuse since they are major contributors to most crimes committed against women and children. She has further encouraged communities to get more involved and report cases to stop the scourge of GBVF.
Another game-changer in blue, who is set on going beyond the call of duty to protect women, children and other vulnerable people, is Sergeant Nombi Peter.
She is a detective attached to the Mangaung FCS unit in the Free State.
She also forms part of Mangaung District’s serial rape task team.
Since she joined the task team, Peter was instrumental in seeing 31 rapists put behind bars, with the culprits facing a collective five life terms and 302 years’ imprisonment.
Peter’s childhood dream of becoming a police officer came true when she was enlisted in the service 14 years ago as a student constable. To date, her sterling investigations have led to a host of rapists being removed from the streets and they are now each serving a long sentence behind bars.
A recent career highlight for her includes the sentencing of a 28-year-old convicted rapist to 20 years’ imprisonment, by the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court, for the rape of a 13-year-old girl.
Peter left no stone unturned to ensure that he landed in jail.