Perpetrators of gender-based violence deserve to be thrown in jail and forgotten - Mchunu

2019-09-27 17:05
Senzo Mchunu.

Senzo Mchunu. (File)

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Perpetrators of gender-based violence (GBV) don't belong to a free South Africa and they deserve to be thrown in jail and forgotten, Public Service and Administration Minister Senzo Mchunu has said.

Mchunu led a march of public servants and several ministers and deputy ministers to the Union Buildings in Tshwane on Friday as a demonstration and a pledge to recommit to the fight against GBV.

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Hundreds of people gathered for the march, which was organised by the Department of Public Service and Administration.

Speaking to the media, a passionate Mchunu turned his attention to perpetrators of abuse, rape and murder, warning them that they would face justice.

Gender based violence march

Women hold up placards during a gender-based violence march to the Union Buildings in Tshwane. (Alex Mitchley, News24)

"Let us execute justice and make them feel that this is a different South Africa now and we are upon them," he said.

"You don't belong to a free South Africa, you don't deserve fresh air. You belong in a jail and we will forget about you."

The minister also called for harsher prison sentences, an amendment to how the bail system works, and said that authorities must act on all allegations that are made.

MORE: South Africans demonstrate against gender-based violence in Times Square, NY

"In the medium term, we are definitely amending the criminal justice system. There must be certain minimum sentences, starting from no bail. You rape, no bail. You murder, no bail."

Mchunu said, if he had his way, all perpetrators of gender-based violence who were convicted should serve a minimum sentence of 20 years behind bars.

National Director of Public Prosecutions Shamila Batohi, who also joined the march, conceded that there had been shortcomings in the criminal justice system when it came to locking up perpetrators of GBV crimes.

ALSO READ: Pandor to address 'terrible' gender-based violence at UN General Assembly

"One of the greatest deterrents is that there will be consequences. There will be investigations and prosecutions, but this is where we are falling," Batohi said.

Batohi explained that, while there was a high success rate in the successful prosecution of cases that go to court, the reality was that the rate of reported cases getting to court was very low.

She said she had recently met with the national police commissioner and that they were putting a team together to work on cold cases, cases that had not been prosecuted and cases that were withdrawn by the victims.

She added that while work was being done in the criminal justice system, the system did work reactively and came in at the tail end, after these crimes had been committed.

union buildings march,gbv

A march against gender-based violence to the Union Buildings in Tshwane organised by the department of public service and administration. (Alex Mitchley, News24)

Read more on:    senzo mchunu  |  gender based violence  |  crime
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