While the national lockdown to flatten the curve of Covid-19 is necessary, there are women suffering at the hands of their abusers while stuck with them at home.
After just eight days into a 21-day lockdown, police minister Bheki Cele revealed, in a press briefing in Pretoria, that there had been 87 000 new cases of domestic violence reported since the lockdown began.
“This is a very serious matter, the last number we received from the report of the NATJOINTS [national joint operational and intelligence structure] was 87 000 people have phoned reporting gender-based violence," he said. “I cannot confirm how many have been arrested.”
Included in these cases is that of a police officer who raped his wife. He has been arrested, Cele confirmed. “He has been arrested as a criminal, not an officer.”
Cele then confirmed that two arrests have been made after a Pietermaritzburg granny was also allegedly attacked and raped.
“There was a story about a 74-year-old gogo who was attacked. I can confirm that there have been two arrests. A 22-year-old and a 27-year-old have been arrested. We are now hunting for the third one,” he said.
The men allegedly entered the elderly woman’s home by pretending to be SANDF members who were there to sanitise the house.
Members of the public who feel threatened in any way, can contact the Gender-Based Violence Command Centre on 0800-428-428 or *120*786#.