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Batho Pele Principles

Government to strengthen coordination with the justice system to apprehend GBV perpetrators

By: Emmaculate Cindi

The provincial government has officially launched the 16 Days of Activism, this comes after a month the country held a Gender Based Violence (GBV) summit in the first week of November, the summit was led by the presidency and set to find lasting solutions on GBV related matters.

 

Leading the provincial delegation at Mopani Ruta village in Tzaneen was MEC Makoma Makhurupetje who spoke strongly about the abuse of women and children, she addressed the need to strengthen the coordination and collaboration of the justice system.

This is in affirmation of the demand by the Total Shutdown movement handed to the presidency during the Total Shutdown demonstrations that, there should be a monthly publication of police stations officers who has been reported to the Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) for failing to provide service to survivors of GBV

“We are planning to make use of back to school campaign in January to raise awareness in schools about sexual abuse of children by both teaches and the society. We can never allow women and children to be abused and stand aside as commentators, we are now partnering with relevant stakeholders to strengthen the coordination, we can never let perpetrators to terrorize us, and it is the responsibility of government to ensure that justice system is strengthened”

“The case of the Principal at Marobathotha School in Mankweng, east of Polokwane is a clear indication that we are stepping towards the right direction. His arrest and ultimate conviction serves as an example of many similar cases of the trust we have in our justice system.” Said Makhurupetje

Prior to the GBV summit which emanated from the Total Shutdown Movement demanding that government implement the 24 demands submitted to the Presidency in August, MEC emphasized on the demands and that there should be a guidance in gathering evidence to ensure that perpetrators are held accountable and removed from societies.

The poor gathering of evidence has been one of the major challenges by law enforcement agencies and resulted with perpetrators walking free due to lack of evidence that links them to the crime scene.

More often; GBV victims are subjected to re victimization and trauma during legal proceedings and in the process the defence (perpetrators), comes out victories while victims are faced with fearing for their lives as they a bound to cross path we them.

Victims are expected to remember every details leading to the abuse including the surrounding of the area where violation took place. They are expected to remember the accurate identity of their perpetrators which includes small details of what he was wearing and which side and part of the body does he has a scare if any.

In cases of were victim families have lost their loved ones, they find it difficult to find closure as well as losing trust in the South African Justice system to protect them as they feel that the law is acting in the best interest of perpetrators than that of the victims.

Although government has set aside the 16 Days in every December to raise awareness, GBV happens daily. Kids are left without mothers to raise them, place of safety are overflowing with victims in desperate need, women and children are raped, abused and killed almost every minute in South Africa.

“On my way here to this launch, I have been informed that 85 year man has raped an 8 year old girl. This is unacceptable. We must go back to the days when my child was everyone’s in the societies. These are the things that needs to be reported and forget that it is not your child. Let us take responsibility to ensure our communities are safe and that perpetrators are reported”

For the next remaining days until the 10th of December which will mark the official end of the awareness, the provincial government will embark on different programmes to raise more awareness as this is a daily problem faced by women and children who die at the hands of the close member of the family or die at the hands of their intimate partners.

According to the GBV summit and Total Shutdown demands and recommendations, consistent sentencing and enforcement of existing laws with minimum sentencing of 50 years to the act of GBV will ensure that women’s burden of consistently looking over their shoulders with fear of being abused will be minimized and children will be raised in safer environment.