The FF Plus has asked the Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Faith Masibuko, to intensify police action against sexual offenders and to focus on finding and apprehending fugitives wanted for sexual offences.
Amid the extensive awareness campaigns and training sessions that took place before and during the 16 Days of Activism for no Violence against Women and Children, Gauteng still has the highest level of violent crime against women and children in the country.
From July to September this year, 2 467 cases of sexual offences against women were reported.
The Honeydew police station on the West Rand has the highest figures in the country.
In the period from July to September, 1 893 cases of rape were reported in Gauteng and the Mamelodi East police station had the third highest report rate. According to the police's statistics, the victims know the offender/s in most cases.
The authorities are indeed trying to make a difference with, for example, additional courts for sexual offences, special training for police officers, a toll-free emergency number, safe houses and much more.
Gender violence is, however, a deep-rooted disease in the South African society that will not be cured if men are not encouraged to be part of the solution rather than the problem.
The week before last, the Gauteng court heard a rape case where the victim was a two-year-old girl. In another case, a 45-year-old man plead guilty on two charges of rape and again, the victims were two minors.
The FF Plus also submitted the following proposals to the MEC for combating this widespread crime:
• Every police station must be equipped with emergency rape kits;
• Police officers must receive the necessary training to know how to correctly handle cases of gender violence, and rape in particular, as well as how to treat victims;
• The criminal justice system and courts against gender violence must start functioning effectively and the existing legislation on gender violence must be enforced effectively;
• Every police station must have a specified safety zone for victims.
• Creating additional 24-hour toll-free call centres that victims can contact for help and guidance.