Protector to launch local office

2016-12-08 06:01
Thabisa Ngada, the provincial manager at the Commission for Gender Equality, Sune Griessel, from the Public Protector’s office, Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, Advocate Kevin Malunga, the Deputy Public Protector, Nashville Britz, of the Familily Advocate and Kuhle Tyelo, of FAMSA, at Luhlaza High School PHOTOS: Mbongiseni Maseko

Thabisa Ngada, the provincial manager at the Commission for Gender Equality, Sune Griessel, from the Public Protector’s office, Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, Advocate Kevin Malunga, the Deputy Public Protector, Nashville Britz, of the Familily Advocate and Kuhle Tyelo, of FAMSA, at Luhlaza High School PHOTOS: Mbongiseni Maseko

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Public Protecter Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane was in Khayelitsha on Thursday where she announced that her office is planning to make her services easily accessible to the public by opening branches in the areas.

She was speaking at Luhlaza High School during the launch of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children.

She opened the floor for residents to speak out on the challenges they faced in the area regarding poor service delivery from government.

She said she planned to have offices in police stations, Magistrate’s Courts or any other government centre, so that residents from disadvantaged areas will not have to travel to town when they needed services.

Mkhwebana said that will also help those who are lodging complaints to do so in their own languages to ensure the message is not lost in translation.

“I have a vision of taking our services closer to the doorstep of residents. Our services should be available at grassroots level. Gender violence is a big problem in our country. Statistics show us that sexual offences are in decline, but gender based violence is not declining,” Mkhwebana said.

She also lambasted residents who resort to burning or damaging infrastructure during protests.

The event was also attended by Commission for Gender Equality, Family and Marriage Society of South Africa (Famsa), Family Advocate, SAPS officials, representatives from Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) and residents.

Kuhle Tyelo, of Famsa, said they are concerned that most cases that they deal with between couples are “always violent.”

“Do not stay in a relationship that is abusive physically or emotionally, because that badly affects your children.

Children who grow up in a violent environment grow up thinking it is a (correct) way of doing things.

Families play a big part in the betterment of the society and are considered a backbone of the community,” Tyelo said.

Advocate Nashville Britz, of Family Advocate, encouraged residents to refrain from participating in violent activities.

“Violence should not be seen as a solution to any problem that we have.

Abuse of women and children is always a disgrace in the country.

We realised that women and children are mostly victims of abuse, but there are also men who are also abused, but very few of them report it.

Being unemployed, impoverished or anything that you are going through cannot be the reason to abuse our partners and children.

Abusing women and children does not make you a man, but speaking out against it does,” Britz said.

Residents used the presence of Mkhwebana to raise their dissatisfaction about poor services they experienced in public offices.

Alicia Mhlekaza, 40, a resident, said she is being sent from pillar to post by police officials in clearing a case of being found in possession of drugs which she knows nothing about.

Mhlekaza was charged for fraud after it was discovered that she was receiving social grant for her son in 2011 while she was employed, but the case was later withdrawn by Cape Town High Court after she paid back the some of R4600,00.

Her ruse was discovered after she had applied for a promotion as a supervisor at her cleaning job at Tygerberg Hospital.

“I was surprised to discover later that there was also a case against me for being found in position of drugs, in 2011. I approached the police and they promised to clear my name, but up to now, they have not done so.

That has an adverse effect on my life, because I am stuck with a criminal record I know nothing about,” Mhlekaza said.

Mkhwebana promised to help Mhlekaza and other residents on their concerns.

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