Mbalula to ensure 'no woman is turned away from police stations'

2017-05-23 17:36
Police Minister Fikile Mbalula delivering his pre-budget vote speech to the media in Parliament. (Paul Herman, News24)

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula delivering his pre-budget vote speech to the media in Parliament. (Paul Herman, News24)

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Cape Town - Police Minister Fikile Mbalula says he will launch a campaign in the coming weeks to ensure that complaints of violence against women are handled with the sensitivity it requires at every police station in the country.

Mbalula told journalists in Parliament on Tuesday that he had already discussed the idea with acting national police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane and cluster commanders.

"No woman must be [turned away] from a police station. In a police station, all our units must be active," he said at a pre-budget vote press briefing.

"So when a woman comes to report a case of abuse, there is a unit that will sensitively attend to you, at police station level."

He said victims of abuse who are at a police station are unlikely to make a rational judgment on their own. They are vulnerable, sometimes by virtue of being dependent on someone, he said.

"Given the volume of crimes, these women are either ejected from the police station, they stay there, or they end up going back home and are not attended to or counselled."

Mbalula said he wanted to ensure that abuse of women becomes a priority crime worthy of being flagged at road blocks and elsewhere.

"If you get into a road block, and you've got cases of women abuse reported [against you], you must be arrested."

He said they will embark on the "massive" project in the next two weeks, and will provide more details closer to the time.

"We've been speaking and speaking about this. It is time to embark on a campaign to say no woman must be turned away from a police station, no matter how minor.

"It is those minor crimes that accumulate and lead to death. We need to attend to that."

Blesser

He said it is a reflection of South African society that grandmothers, daughters and children are being killed by men and people close to them on such a regular basis.

"It is a general problem that is psychotic and that catches up with us.

"Why are so many young women being caught up in cases of abuse? Is there someone who is running a scam on young women?

"We must understand and appraise the situation, and this is going to be important."

Deputy Police Minister Bongani Mkongi believed "patriarchy" was the problem in South Africa.

"We must destroy all forms of patriarchy, through action and policy. The mentality of patriarchy must be fought and be defeated," he added.

Mbalula was critical of the present-day "blesser" culture, and the "petty jealousies" of men.

He said patriarchal attitudes was the norm for him and friends growing up when "bankrolling" meant taking care of their girlfriends. However, it was always done out of love, not blessing.

They now have to fight attitudes towards women as well as crime.

 

Read more on:    police  |  fikile mbalula  |  abuse

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