SAPS drags feet on making GBV a crime category

Please find attached soundbite by Bridget Masango MP.

The DA calls on President Cyril Ramaphosa to ensure that the National Strategic Plan on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (NSP-GBVF) is implemented as a matter of urgency. This after we were have learnt that the South African Police Service (SAPS) has yet to create a specific crime category for gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF).

In a written reply to a parliamentary question from the DA, the Minister of Police Bheki Cele admitted that “in order to determine a GBV motive or that gender dynamic contributed to a crime, one currently would have to go into individual docket analysis”. Minister Cele also stated that “GBV is a social construct and not a specific crime”.

As the nation observes 16 days of activism for no violence against women and children, the national government again shows its lack of political will and urgency to root out this plague from our society.

The DA is very concerned that one of the reasons GBVF might be on a perpetual increase in South Africa is the lack of coordination between the different government departments, as well as SAPS, tasked with addressing this scourge.

In 2020, the NSP-GBVF were released after President Ramaphosa called the violence against women and children in this country a second pandemic. But little seems to have been done to implement the plan.

Instead, all these different departments and SAPS seem to do is collect statistics that show the growing problem, without ever implementing any countermeasures. Progress on implementing any of the five stages of the NSP are at glacial pace.

South Africa’s women and children deserve better than uncaring Ministers and SAPS officials paying them nothing but lip service. They deserve to be protected and to feel safe within their homes and communities. They deserve a government who delivers on its promises and doesn’t just repeat them year after year after year.