Cele pessimistic on SA's chances of defeating GBV, femicide
Police Minister Bheki Cele has named 30 communities in the country which are considered gender-based violence hot spots.
JOHANNESBURG - Police Minister Bheki Cele on Tuesday said that while the country stood a good chance of beating COVID-19, the same could not be said about gender-based violence (GBV) and femicide.
He has named 30 communities in the country which are considered gender-based violence hot spots.
These include Delft, Bellville, Nyanga in the Western Cape and Gauteng’s Diepsloot, Alexandra, Moroka and Honeydew.
Cele said that among the interventions that would be implemented to deal with gender-based violence was to ensure that police stations in the hot spots had victim friendly rooms and had a special desk to deal with the cases.
This is part of the police’s role in implementing level one of the lockdown.
Cele said that the information showed that special attention needed to be paid to Tembisa, Orange Farm, Mamelodi East, Umlazi, Inanda, Temba, Khayelitsha, Gugulethu and Mitchells Plain among others.
"As part of the SAPS’ integrated sexual offences and GBV action plan, there are proactive measures with short, medium and long-term frames. GBV remains a priority crime for SAPS."
The minister said that access to resources should not be limited to the hot spot areas but become the norm at all police stations.
GOVT ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS?
Gender violence researcher at the University of Johannesburg, Lisa Vetten, said that it was good that the police were focusing on GBV but she felt that government was not asking the right questions.
For instance, why are there more reports of gender-based violence in the identified areas?
"We need to try and identify why we have a high frequency of crimes. You can't just say 'this place has the highest numbers, therefore it's got the biggest problems' because sometimes the numbers are high because it's a very big area."
Eight of the 30 hot spots identified are in Cape Town and in recent months there have been numerous cases of femicide and child violence.
The Western Cape has a children's commissioner and Christina Nomdo believes that government alone cannot address gender-based violence.
"Government has a definite role to play because we invest resources to the fiscus. Ordinary citizens must begin to take responsibility for the culture of violence in our country."
Nomdo said that whenever goverment came up with a plan, it sounded grand and addressed issues at a macro level but in her view, plans needed to start at a micro-level with individuals.
Additional reporting by Kaylynn Palm.