Police chief 'must act on uncollected rape kits'

2011-06-06 14:20

Johannesburg - Gauteng Police Commissioner Lieutenant General Mzwandile Petros must ensure all unprocessed rape kits are collected from Johannesburg hospitals by week's end, the Democratic Alliance said on Monday.

"Gauteng Police Commissioner Lieutenant General Petros must ensure that all these kits are collected before the end of this week and submitted to the forensic laboratories," DA Gauteng spokesperson on safety and security, Kate Lorimer, said in a statement..

"He must ensure that investigating officers responsible for these cases are summarily disciplined and that new investigators are placed on these cases."

Lorimer was commenting on a report in The Star newspaper on Monday that hundreds of rape kits which help police gather evidence were "gathering dust" in hospitals, allowing rapists to walk free.

The kits, containing swabs of semen, blood and other evidence, lay uncollected in public and private hospitals.

As a result, rape cases were not investigated and court cases were delayed, according to the report.

"These rape kits are essential as they contain evidence that can convict rapists," Lorimer said.

‘National tragedy’

"It is horrifying to think of the number of rape victims in Gauteng who have been denied justice due to bad policing practice. These survivors of brutal sex crimes are now being re-traumatised as they realise their cases have not been properly dealt with by the police.

"Rapists are usually multiple offenders. How many victims could have been spared the horrors of rape if kits had been collected and processed when a rape was initially reported?"

An investigation by the newspaper found kits at one hospital were not collected for four years, while the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital had run out of storage space as it has so many kits, some dating back to 2000.

In April two female police officers were arrested in Tshwane after 126 stolen rape files and evidence files were found in their possession and an employee at the Pretoria forensic laboratory described the problem of uncollected kits as a "national tragedy", the report read.

Police were meant to collect the kits once doctors had finished treating the patients, an employee at the laboratory told The Star.

  • KomboKitten - 2011-06-06 14:29

    down down down we spiral, as long as incompetence is in control of things.

  • Smaal - 2011-06-06 14:30

    WOW, and the police have to be told all of this?

  • saabnut - 2011-06-06 14:34

    For heaven's sake- acting is all he ever does. This man is a clown, and a key member of the Zuma/ Malema circus...

  • Vernon - 2011-06-06 14:42

    He must be confused and maybe thinks these kits are used to PERFORM these evil deeds

      saabnut - 2011-06-06 14:56

      Sent by the ancestors...

  • Investor - 2011-06-06 14:48

    SA does not have a CRIME problem, it has a POLICE problem !!!!!!!

  • Investor - 2011-06-06 14:48

    Any way there is no word in PEDI for RAPE .....

      Ke maketse - 2011-06-06 15:07

      Yes, its called "Go kata" or "go phaya thetho ka kgang"

  • Hope - 2011-06-06 14:49

    Absolutely disgusting! It just goes to show our police force and government have no concern or respect for us ordinary citizens. This is morally reprehensible and I hope heads start rolling! One wonders how many serial rapists have been able to commit their heinous crimes due to this incompetence and total disregard for rape victim's dignity!

  • biskit - 2011-06-06 14:52

    police shouldn't be trusted with this kind of evidence ever

      Vigorous - 2011-06-06 15:46

      Police should not be trusted PERIOD!

  • Jacques - 2011-06-06 14:56

    Unfortunately this is the ANC's fault. They promised thousands of jobs, but they had no idea how to create it. Now they fill up the (Public sector) police and military forces with unqualified and unemployed people. Therefore resulting in bad service delivery, crime and corruption. Frustrating to think, the moment ANC gives one step forward, they take two steps back. EISH!

  • willieman - 2011-06-06 15:01

    Arrest alll the incompetent cops and send the for retraining by force or fire them

  • mamakalami - 2011-06-06 15:04

    Cops....what was it this time? No vehicles to collect the samples? Cop1 thought Cop2 had done it? Forgot which hospital the samples where?

  • ratex - 2011-06-06 15:06

    Dear Santa, please grant me one wish only. Please remove the clause from our constitution that says "everybody has the right to live". If you grant me this wish I will assure you that no capital crimes will go unpunished, especially in South Africa where under the current cANCer government, human life has very little value. PS Sant, please help us to rid our country of these vermin and please also assist us by bringing back the death penalty for capital crimes. Best regards A pissed of SA citizen

  • DeonL - 2011-06-06 15:07


  • keithy - 2011-06-06 15:20

    Petros and Cele's heads must roll. It is their responsibility to act and to be held accountable. They want the pay and status, well with that comes responsibility.

  • Anonymous Thinker - 2011-06-06 15:21

    First a woman is violated and traumatised by being raped. Then she has to go through another invasive procedure (rape kit). And for what? So that chauvinist government can ignore them and let more women be attacked! The evil part of me hopes one of your wives/daughters gets attacked. Maybe then appropriate action and procedures would be put into place.

  • - 2011-06-06 15:23

    So what's the use of collecting them now. The rapists defence will be that he hasn't been allowed a speedy trial and the case will get thrown out of court. Arrest the police officers whose resposibility it is to collect these kits.

      Genesistt - 2011-06-06 16:47

      He doesn't even have to claim the lack of a speedy trial. Just question the validity of the evidence or the chain of evidence. Samples that's been sitting on shelves in hospitals for years might not even be viable anymore. Degraded over time.

  • Ingie - 2011-06-06 15:43

    The kits, containing swabs of semen, blood and other evidence, lay uncollected in public and private hospitals. do they really think that this evidence is still available. How can blood, semen etc after all this time still be valid!!!????

  • Ingie - 2011-06-06 15:48

    As far as I know semen, blood etc needs to be stored in a temperature that allows the samples to be kept for a long period of time. Doubt this has happened as if lying arond the heat etc would have destroyed all evidence. If anyone does a sperm count for IVF etc this needs to be delivered to the lab in an hour - so how do they think they will get evidence from this - a waste of our tax money as far as i can see and why have they overlooked this. shocking and no wonder why the same old same old rapists carry on doinf what they do best and thats rape.Cele needs to wake up

  • USSA - 2011-06-06 15:52

    You are actually asking these people to do their jobs????? The ones that are being paid exorbitant salaries for???? Now-now....can't expect that from these lazy $hit-heads. Just too much work this "jopp" thing.

  • Genesistt - 2011-06-06 16:43

    This just shows how highly the police regard the seriousness of the crime of rape. It's unimportant and not worth their time. In their minds, most likely they probably reckon the woman asked for it and is now just making a fuss over nothing, so why should they bother. Maybe if they were the victims they would feel different and would treat the matter with more urgency and compassion!

  • kseyffert - 2011-06-06 16:46

    No excuse for the investigating officer not following up but I can't help wondering if the medical staff informed them that the kits were ready for collection...

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