‘Cops who turn away gender-based violence victims to be dealt with’
Police Minister Fikile Mbalula says officers must understand their obligation in the fight against the abuse of women and children.
JOHANNESBURG - Police Minister Fikile Mbalula has warned officers who turn away victims of gender-based violence at police stations that there will be consequences for their actions.
Mbalula has launched a ministerial six-point plan in Eldorado Park, south of Johannesburg, aimed at curbing violence against vulnerable members of society.
His initiative comes against a back drop of criticism of his handling of the assault case of Deputy Higher Education Minister Mduduzi Manana.
The Minister says police officers must understand their obligation in the fight against the abuse of women and children.
“Police must commit in relation to what they are going to do in the fight against gender-based violence.”
Mbalula says those who are found to have failed in their duties must be dealt with.
“If a woman is returned from a police station, I must understand in the system of police who returned this woman and there must be consequences.”
The Police Minister says this newly unveiled six-point plan will be carried out at police stations across the country to ensure a concerted effort in fighting crimes against the vulnerable in society.
Mbalula says his newly unveiled plan will ensure that victims are not only protected but also kept abreast of developments related to their cases.
He says those who violate women must be dealt with.
“A woman comes to the police station and says: 'my husband has beaten me up and changed by dental formula to 0.0.' The police ask 'who is the husband' and the woman says ‘it’s Mbalula’. But Mbalula doesn’t get arrested. There are no consequences because he is a known person. So, there must be a portal.”
MAKE AN EXAMPLE OF ABUSERS
In the wake of the recent video showing a school boy assaulting a girl in KwaZulu-Natal, the Police Minister says an example must be made of those who commit crimes against women and children.
It's understood the incident happened last November at the Siyathuthuka School in Inanda, however, the footage is currently circulating on social media.
In the video, the teenage boy can be seen pinning the girl against a wall before tripping her and then kicking her in the head and back several times.
Mbalula says he has seen the footage and has described it as painful.
“That boy must be a role model to understand that he cannot do that against a young woman.”
He says those who commit crimes against women and children must be punished.
“Such cases that have gone viral, we must act in such a manner that educates society and to make an example of those who do such horrible things.”
The police minister is due to hold talks in Pretoria next week, aimed at coming up with ways in which society can address crimes against those vulnerable.
(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)