Home South African GBV clearly not a priority crime for Cele, says activist

GBV clearly not a priority crime for Cele, says activist

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I have no faith in Bheki Cele and he is not interested in protecting us, says activist Lucinda Evans

Police Minister Bheki Cele. Picture: Bongani Shilubane/African News Agency (ANA)

POLICE Minister Bheki Cele has vowed that “GBV remains a priority crime for the SAPS’’ – but Cape Flats activist Lucinda Evans doesn’t believe this is the case.

Evans did, unfortunately, believe Cele when he stated yesterday that while the ”country will certainly combat the coronavirus pandemic, sadly, the same cannot be said for the second pandemic (GBV) that is at crisis levels in this country”.

“It’s clearly not his priority. How many cases have there been? How many women and children have been killed and how many times does he go to families and sympathise. He has done nothing,” Evans said on Wednesday.

In highlighting the 30 GBV hot spots in the country (eight of which are in Cape Town), Cele said “gender-based violence is a societal evil that must be contained at all costs”.

“All police stations in those identified areas are expected to have a permanent desk dedicated to GBV.”

According to Evans, who has fought up to parliamentary level for this issue, this was supposed to have happened by September 20 but hasn’t.

Cele added: ”We are also forging ahead with our plans of ensuring that victim-friendly rooms meet all requirements and are available at all police stations.”

Evans said: “I took all 150 police stations in the province to task through the ombudsman on the issue of the victim support group and they did a submission to Parliament two weeks ago.

‘’And one of the recommendations that we made is that the police officers should be retrained in terms of gender-based violence and also that the victim support group should be adequately equipped with volunteers.

“There was a commitment made from SAPS but it’s not worth the paper that it’s been written on because it was said that by the 20th of September the identified police stations were supposed to ensure that their victim support group was adequately manned.

“But I can go to any of these police stations and I will find no one there. I have no faith in Bheki Cele and he is not interested in protecting us.”

Evans told Independent Media in January already: “The station commanders should be charged for failing to comply with the national instruction that mandate all stations to have fully functional victim empowerment programme rooms. How do they fill in their monthly scores with compliance?

“At some police stations, when victims went for support, there was nothing. Until SAPS get their house in order, we are going to sit with situations where women are revictimised.”