Another NPO is left in the lurch, young girls continue to suffer abuse

Despite the Gauteng Department of Social Development promising to conditionally register the New Life Centre (NLC) in Midrand, this NPO is still not registered and has not yet received any formal communication and funding from the department since 2017.

This centre which caters mostly for young girls who are victims of human trafficking, orphans, children of sex workers and victims of sexual assault is struggling to provide necessary care due to a lack of funding.

This shocking information was discovered by the GPL Social Development portfolio committee during an oversight inspection at the NLC.

NLC was established in Hillbrow in 2005 to aid and empower young girls who are lured into prostitution. In 2017, NLC moved to President Park in Midrand and applied for registration and funding from the department.

It has not yet received any feedback from the department concerning its’ registration and funding applications.

The DA has since learned that the department came to remove all the girls and called their sex worker parents to come and collect their children. This is unacceptable, as it was done without evaluating the home environment and determining the safety of these girls.

Within a few days of experiencing various forms of abuse, most of the girls called the NLC founder in tears and begged her to come and fetch them from their parents and as they wanted to return to the centre.

Legally, the department may have been correct as the centre is not registered, but it compromised these girls morally and ethically by placing these girls back in the abusive environment from which they originally came. The department should have found an alternative shelter to house these girls.

If the DA was in government in this province we would have communicated with the founder in 2017 and immediately ensured there is funding available for this critical NPO to take these abuse children out of their abusive environment. When the DA is in power, we will not ignore or leave NPO’s in such a state of neglect or return the children to such a negative environment.

The safety and well-being of these young girls is of utmost importance to the DA, and we demand that a proper evaluation be conducted by the department’s social workers.

These young vulnerable girls deserve a conducive environment that caters for them, and the DA will fight to ensure that the NPO gets the needed funding as soon as possible before it is forced to close down and the vulnerable children are forced to be returned to very unfavourable and debilitating circumstances.

MEC Mazibuko not doing enough to curb the scourge of gender-based violence in Gauteng

The Gauteng Department of Community Safety has failed to roll out nine Green Doors meant to ensure that the victims and survivors of gender-based violence receive prompt and effective services and prevent secondary victimisation of the survivors.

This information was revealed in the department’s first quarter report for the 2020/21 financial year.

According to the first quarter report, the department had a target of rolling out nine Green Doors.

This target was not achieved, and the reasons given by the department for non-achievement is that due to lockdown, no green doors were erected because of the inaccessibility of the homes.

A Green Door is a safe space in the community that is at least 5kms away from a police station and run by community members. It offers debriefing, containment and referral to necessary stakeholders such as local NGOs, SAPS, and courts. Green Door is a link between the community and SAPS, and the victim can stay up to 6 hours at the site.

The department’s failure to establish Green Doors clearly indicates that the ANC-led Gauteng government cares little about ensuring that the victims of gender-based violence are protected during this difficult period of lockdown as a result of the deadly Coronavirus pandemic.

With the increase of gender-based violence cases across the country during the lockdown, the department should have prioritised the establishment of Green Doors in the province instead of using Covid-19 as an excuse.

The DA calls on MEC Mazibuko to ensure that these Green Doors are prioritised to provide adequate and effective services and support to the victims and survivors of gender-based violence.

The DA has also tabled a Community Safety Private Members Bill which will ensure that cases of domestic and interpersonal abuse are treated with the concern they deserve by creating specific offences with serious consequences for those who fail to assist the victims in accordance with the duties placed on them by the Act, such as the police  officers and court officials.

Commission of Inquiry urgently needed to probe extent of sexual abuse in GP schools

The DA strongly condemns the disgusting behaviour displayed by the Reiger Park High School Principal after videos and photos went viral on social media of him allegedly having sex with learners in his office.

It is an absolute disgrace that a principal who is supposed to be a true leader, a guardian and a shield to protect these learners from abuse within and outside the school premises is engaged in this type of behaviour.

We welcome this sex-pest principal’s immediate resignation from his post. However, he must not go unpunished for stripping these learners of their innocence and needs to face the full might of the law.

This principal must be named and shamed for destroying the future and the dignity of our learners and should be be registered as a sexual offender.

He must also be banned from ever working with children again.

For far too long, the Gauteng Premier, David Makhura and the Gauteng Department of Education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi have ignored the DA’s call to establish a Commission of Inquiry to probe the extent of sexual abuse in Gauteng schools and to establish a toll-free line for learners to report sexual abuse in schools.

The DA made this call last year after more than 87 learners were allegedly sexually abused by patrollers in Soweto schools.

This problem is clearly far bigger than what we initially thought and requires greater intervention than the Premier’s task team.

There is no time line and no communication with regards to the findings of this task team and when its investigations will be completed.

Sexual abuse in Gauteng schools goes beyond allegations against the patrollers as it also involves principals and educators. The scourge of violence against our learners has infiltrated every level of our education system.

A Commission of Inquiry is the only way to deal with this pandemic.

The DA also condemns those who are circulating the videos and pictures of the principal having sex with these learners as it violates the rights of these children. Possession of child pornography, as well as distributing it, is a criminal offence and charges should be laid against those who are breaking this law.

Psychological counselling must be provided to the victims and their families.

The DA will continue to put pressure on both the Premier and MEC to ensure that the Commission of Inquiry and a sexual abuse toll-free line is established as a matter of urgency.

Our learners are the future leaders of this country and it is within their rights as guaranteed by the constitution to be protected against any sexual abuse, sexual exploitation and child pornography.

SAPS not doing enough to protect women and children

There is a serious deficiency in the South African Police Service’s (SAPS’s) approach to dealing with the protection of women and children against all forms of abuse.

The most vulnerable members of society which includes, women, children, the elderly, people with disabilities and LGBT’s safety is under threat.

I recently visited Etwatwa police station in Ekurhuleni, and found the attitude of the police officers disdainful and not helpful to the public.

The section where cases are opened is very small with no privacy to deal with domestic violence and sexual offence cases.

The police officer dealing with the registrars for domestic violence, rape and protection orders was on leave and I was informed that nobody else could assist us.

We waited for hours, being sent from one police officer to another, when we eventually left without assistance.

This is totally unacceptable as these services are crucial to the public. There should be a police officer assisting in absence of another.

There have been no arrests relating to the 54 rape cases reported in the past 6 months at Etwatwa police station.

This indicates that the police are not doing enough to ensure the safety of our people, as an alleged serial rapist is still on the streets on the prowl for more victims.

As we mark the 16 Days of No Violence Against Women and Children, we call upon Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane and the Gauteng SAPS Provincial Commissioner, General Deliwe De Lange to intervene and ensure that SAPS works around the clock to arrest the alleged serial rapist and address the attitude of SAPS officers towards the public.

The DA will continue to do all it can to ensure that women and children are treated with dignity and are protected against all forms of violence.

Take a stand against human trafficking and ensure a prosperous future for our youth


The child trafficking motion brought before the Gauteng Legislature by the DA was supported unanimously by all political parties in attendance.

This is great victory, as human trafficking is one of the fastest growing illegal activities in the world today generating more than $150 billion every year.

Through force, fraud, and coercion, people across South Africa are being bought and sold against their will and sometimes without their knowledge. Most victims don’t even know that they are victims of a crime.

Occasionally people are trafficked onward to foreign destinations for sexual exploitation. Sometimes they are trafficked inter-provincially or even between municipalities and towns.

Today, the Department of Home Affairs has revealed that a syndicate, most likely operating with officials within that department has been prevented from exporting as many as 15 young South Africans at OR Tambo International Airport.

The DA tabled this child trafficking motion in the Legislature, not only to highlight the severity of this heinous crime – but also to stir law enforcement agencies and other relevant departments to action.

It is also our belief that organisations, such as Kaleideo which is now an affiliate of A21 and Tshwane Home of Hope – who do so much in the fight against human trafficking, are recognised and supported by this administration.

Can you imagine the fear and agony a young child undergoes, not knowing if they will ever see their loved ones again? The physical and mental abuse that all of the victims of these crimes endure leave scars that may never heal.

No one deserves a future as bleak as the one faced by a victim of human trafficking.

Media Enquiries

Refiloe Nt’sekhe MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Social Development
060 558 8297

Warren Gwilt
DA Economic Cluster Manager
073 601 6144