Women's legal centre backs rape commission

By Drum Digital
11 February 2013

The Women's Legal Centre (WLC) on Monday said it supported the ANC Women's League call for a commission of inquiry into rape and gender based violence.

The WLC said the commission should look at the allocation of resources to fighting violence against women, address the flaws in the criminal justice system, and improve implementation of existing law and policy.

"Let's get the best minds together and look at what the causes are, where the system is going wrong, and devise a holistic, comprehensive strategy to deal with this," said director of the WLC, Jennifer Williams.

The ANCWL called for the commission following the rape, mutilation, and killing of Anene Booysen in Bredasdorp last week.

The 17-year-old was found disembowelled at a construction site on February 2.

Two men have been arrested for her murder. Booysen allegedly identified one of them before she died.

One accused appeared at the Bredasdorp Magistrate's Court earlier on Monday.

"The Booysen case is an exceptional case," said Williams.

"The perpetrators were identified and charged. The State has the opportunity to prosecute, and we hope that all efforts will be put in to make sure that conviction takes place as soon as possible."

The WLC is an independently funded law centre focusing on women equality.

It has reportedly received 127 gender-based violence complaints in the past twelve months.

Williams said many more rape cases were not reported and many rapists were not prosecuted.

"A system in which perpetrators are caught, prosecuted, and sentenced, where victims are treated with dignity and respect, is a system that would encourage victims to speak out about rape and gender-based violence." she said.


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