Bheki Cele said cop shops should have dedicated people to help GBV victims. (Photo by Jabulani Langa)
- Police stations have been reinforced with 1 225 police officers to deal with GBV and rape cases.
- The officers will obtain statements from victims and complainants.
- Minister of Police Bheki Cele is embarrassed by how some of his officers treat sexual offences and GBV victims at police stations.
Police Minister Bheki Cele claimed he was embarrassed by how some of his officers are treating victims of Gender-Based Violence and other sexual offences.
Cele said his department has trained and deployed 1 225 new police officers to all police stations to deal with cases of GBV and sexual offences.
He promised that they are dealing with the backlog of DNA evidence from their laboratory.
Cele said the new recruits will deal first hand with victims and complainants.
The minister was reacting to serious allegations levelled against Olievenhoutbosch police officers.
Residents spoke during an imbizo in the township.
A mother told Cele that her husband was physically abusing her because she refused to let him marry a second wife.
The mother of eight claimed police have failed to arrest her husband despite her securing a warrant of arrest and protection order against him.
Instead of assisting her, the woman said Olievenhoutbosch police officers ordered her to vacate her home and leave her husband, eight children, and his new lover in her home.
Another woman told Cele how officers have failed to arrest people who raped her.
The woman claimed she had been raped since she was three.
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She said police have described her as a mad person and vowed not to take action on her rape cases.
A father also described how he was forced to free his mentally ill 15-year-old daughter from her abductor, who is known to the local police.
The man said his daughter had been raped by her abductor who lives in the area.
Cele said they took GBV and child abuse seriously and had added R100 million to the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) unit to speed up all cases.
“We have trained 1 225 new members of the [FCS] that will be deployed to all police stations. Those officers will respond first to victims and complainants. They will be the ones that will obtain statements from victims.
“We are working with the NPA to tighten our cases before they go to court. We have corrected the problem of slow assessment of DNA. Police have dropped the ball in dealing with DNA analysis.
“Sometimes, I feel embarrassed by the way some of our police officers are behaving. The IPID must work and treat officers who break the law as criminals,” Cele said.