Gauteng police ill-equipped to tackle crimes against women - DA

2017-05-30 17:31
DA member Michele Clarke speaks during a protest. (YouTube)

DA member Michele Clarke speaks during a protest. (YouTube)

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Pretoria - Gauteng provincial legislature member Michele Clarke, speaking during a Democratic Alliance (DA) protest outside the SAPS headquarters in Pretoria on Tuesday morning, said police stations in the province are under resourced and officers are not trained to deal with cases of domestic violence and the rapes of women.

"I have visited many police stations and in most police stations, we are under resourced in terms of manpower, in terms of vehicles and many other aspects," said Clarke, the DA spokesperson for Community Safety in Gauteng.

"They [police] do not have the resources to police crime actively, like they should be in this country."

Clarke said officers at the front desks of police stations have also not been trained to handle crimes involving women, such as domestic violence and rape.

"The front desk is not trained to deal with these kinds of crimes where women who have been raped arrive there.

"Domestic crimes [complainants], I can tell you: They arrive at the police stations where policemen tell them 'Go sort out your issues with your family, we are not going to open a case.'"

READ: South Africa: A country where women and children end up as grim stats

Rape statistics

Clarke said women have lost confidence in police because of rape statistics and that statistics are higher than what is officially recorded as many women don't report these crimes because they are not well treated.

She added that Gauteng Safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane, who said they would reduce crime 50% in the next few years, would have to go into negotiations with Police Minister Fikile Mbalula to make sure that national police provides the type of budget needed to resource police stations and police officers in Gauteng.

A group of DA protesters, mostly women clad in blue, stood outside the SAPS headquarters protesting against the continued violence against women and the LGBTI community.

DA MP and shadow minister of police, Marius Redelinghuis said the government had failed women and the LGBTI community.

"They keep lumping us all together, children, women and the queer community, instead of targeting specifically hate crimes, instead of giving us a breakdown of detailed statistics of when a lesbian woman is raped and murdered and burnt and her ashes are discovered by a dog in a dumping ground," said Redelinghuis.

"It's recorded as a murder. It's not a murder, it's a hate crime.

"I cannot walk freely in a street of my choice with my husband, holding his hand. I cannot go to certain parts of the country. And it's worse for women and even worse for black women who are lesbian."

"The government has now gone on to insult us because queer lives and women's lives do not matter to this government."

Read more on:    police  |  da  |  johannesburg  |  crime  |  gender rights

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