The DA notes the admission by the South African Police Service’s (SAPS) that there is a shortage of rape and DNA collection kits at some of its police stations, and we are concerned by the fact the procurement process is reported to have faltered due to the unsuitability of all the bidders involved.
According to the SAPS, “two of the suppliers that took part in the bid process were disqualified because they could not meet the specifications as outlined by the department. During this process, the SAPS however discovered that the third supplier that did meet the required specifications is currently under criminal investigation”.
The DA previously revealed massive shortages of 18,637 rape kits and 43,489 DNA kits in the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) units alone in several provinces.
These statistics are both shocking and reflective of the nation-wide crisis in which victims of rape and abuse are failed on a constant basis due to the under-resourced and under-equipped police service.
The SAPS does not seem to take the matter as seriously as they should, failing to acknowledge that this is a crisis for thousands of rape victims across the country. That this situation has come to pass is due to appalling mismanagement in the SAPS.
Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, must ensure that the bidding process to stock up much-needed and crucial equipments is urgently but lawfully expedited to ensure that perpetrators are successfully prosecuted and that victims of rape and abuse – many of them children – can be confident that justice will be served when they report these cases to the police.
Minister Cele must urgently address the chronic mismanagement in the SAPS and tackle the numerous issues which impede the police’s ability to ensure safe streets and safe homes for all South Africans.