The Department of Community Safety has expressed concern over the continued disservice by SAPS to victims of Gender-Based Violence (GBV).
According to the recently published police crime statistics for the period March 1 to December 31 2020, it was revealed that 131 rapes were reported to the Mitchell’s Plain and Lentegeur police stations.
Of the 131 reported cases, only 83 (or 63%) turned into arrests and saw charges being laid.
Of the 83 cases in which arrests were made, only 59 suspects are awaiting trial. Furthermore, only a single trial, out of the original 131 reported cases, has commenced. There has not been a single conviction.
In a statement by the Department of Community Safety, minister Albert Fritz described the behaviour as shocking.
“Imagine going through the absolute trauma of being raped, and then the ordeal of gathering up enough courage and reporting the matter to SAPS, only for the case to go nowhere,” Fritz said.
Fritz, added that it is unacceptable that victims of rape and GBV are subjected to secondary trauma of this kind because of a criminal justice system that is inadequate. “It is important as social services and support that we need a functional criminal justice system that truly serves the victims of violence and crime,” Fritz added.
The Minister indicated that he will write to the Western Cape Police Ombudsman and ask them to conduct a systemic investigation into how rape cases are reported and dealt with at SAPS.
“We will then engage with SAPS to see how we, as the Provincial Government, can formally assist in trying to improve services to victims of gender-based violence, and rape specifically.”
Meanwhile, the Department of Community Safety participates in various initiatives which seek to eradicate the scourge of GBV in the Western Cape.
Picture: Cape Town Etc gallery