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Cops fail domestic violence victims - MPs

2012-08-07 21:53

Cape Town - Police should have no more excuses for their disregard of the Domestic Violence Act (DVA), National Assembly police committee acting chairperson Annelize van Wyk said on Tuesday.

"Year after year, we beg [the] SAPS [SA Police Service] for figures, but not only figures; we need to know why there's this high level of non-compliance," she said during a presentation by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) to the committee.

MPs from various parties insisted on answers from the police, not excuses.

"This act has been there more than a decade and we still find a lack of understanding of the DVA. You are not telling us what you are going to do," said Congress of the People MP Mluleki George.

MPs argued that police officers had received the proper training, but that the DVA was seen as an administrative burden.

"Your workshops were a waste of money. IPID needs to tell us why you have failed miserably," Van Wyk said.

Police secretary Jenni Irish-Quobosheane said new monitoring systems had been put in place, but there was no magic wand to fix the problem.

"I don't think there is a single reason for non-compliance," she said.

The perpetration of violence on women could be linked to the police.

Irish-Quobosheane agreed with MPs that a culture of silence surrounding acts of domestic violence was evident at police stations.

Democratic Alliance MP Dianne Kohler Barnard called on Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa to intervene.

"The percentage of stations which are fully compliant with the DVA remains ridiculously low. Of the 263 stations visited during this reporting period [July 2011 to March 2012], only 14% were fully compliant with the DVA," she said.

IPID head Francois Beukman blamed the police for not acting on recommendations, which included training and taking disciplinary action against officers who did not comply.

The DVA was passed in 1998.

IPID was presenting the former Independent Complaints Directorate's (ICD) last report on police compliance with the act to the committee.

The civilian secretariat for police took over the responsibility of monitoring compliance from 1 April.

The IPID report, which is based on audits done at selected police stations, showed high levels of non-compliance.

Comments
  • lacrimose.wolf - 2012-08-07 22:09

    It's a culture that no facet of govt or education has begun to address. As with everything else, we have the finest laws and policies in the world, but without the follow-up WORK to make the mindshift, they might as well be scratchings on rocks.

  • bless.boswell - 2012-08-07 22:11

    The cops fail all victims. They turn victims into bigger victims.

  • godfrey.welman - 2012-08-07 22:50

    Standard ANC Govt response "new monitoring systems had been put in place" for "I don't have a clue". What is the point of a new system if you never identified the problem with the existing one.

  • dave.willard.79 - 2012-08-08 01:50

    It's not only the cops - it's the judicial system , a lack of motivated prosecutors and court rolls that are so overburdened that cases disappear. I'm a cop and not only a hundred times but most probably a thousand times did I attend the same complaint from the same complainant. They just don't escape when they are helped and keep on returning to the other spouse as soon as the liquor dries out. Remember - once beaten you're a victim - the second and third time - well - you're a volunteer

  • dave.willard.79 - 2012-08-08 01:50

    It's not only the cops - it's the judicial system , a lack of motivated prosecutors and court rolls that are so overburdened that cases disappear. I'm a cop and not only a hundred times but most probably a thousand times did I attend the same complaint from the same complainant. They just don't escape when they are helped and keep on returning to the other spouse as soon as the liquor dries out. Remember - once beaten you're a victim - the second and third time - well - you're a volunteer

  • carol.dempers - 2012-08-08 08:24

    It is everybody, cops and judiciary, that are failing the victims! I have just seen it happen first hand to a young adult!! She was stranged,punched in the stomach, pushed on a wet fLoor (which caused her to tear ligaments in her one leg), kicked in the back! 4 months later she is still trying to get a protection order going. The state prosecutor, that serves the area of Dwarskersbos on the west coast, through the case of abuse out because there was not enough evidence!!! The evidence that the he wanted was for her to be bleeding physically!! Well this phsycopath is extremely clever and knew not to mark her face. She went to her GP(on the advice of the SAP) and the GP has diagrams of her injuries!! Surely this is enough! But no.... .\r\n She was granted a temp protection order and when she did need the police they never pitched up!!! Great South Africa!! The judiciary and SAPD are an embarrassment to this country!! Give the jobs to pEope that want to do it and while you are about it please tell me how a black woman member of the SAP who is \r\nNo more than 5ft tall and probably weighs in excess of 100kg. Can be fit enough and even run to catch a criminal (and we have many many many of those). They can barey walk nevermind run. But to fil up the quota the SAP woud rather employ that than a white woman who keeps fit, runs everyday!! DISGUSTING!! How many women and children (and even men) have to die before we honour Mr Mandels's plea to protect the women \r\n And children of South Africa!!

  • coleen.shaw.75 - 2012-10-19 12:07

    There is too much abuse of these domestic violence restraining orders so the police dont like to touch them http://www.imod.co.za/2012/02/27/domestic-violence-order-for-facebook-unfriend-threat/

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