The DA is shocked by a report yesterday on the criminal justice system’s total lack of care in the assault of a lesbian woman.
It is unacceptable to be assaulted because of one’s sexual orientation. It is despicable when the person assaulted tries to report the matter to the police, the very people who are supposed to protect us from harm, only to be told that the matter is “not a big issue”.
Crime is a big issue. Being assaulted is a big issue. Being assaulted to the point where one is unconscious for three hours, is a very big issue. This reportedly happened to 29 year old Bonisiwe Mtshali, who was assaulted by security guards after she confronted them about comments they made regarding her sexual orientation.
We believe that this conduct goes beyond misconduct on the part of the police, as well as the security guards. It is a violation of the rights of Ms Mtshali to enjoy her constitutionally enshrined right to freedom from discrimination on the grounds of her sexual orientation, and a violation of her right to a safe and secure environment. It also makes a mockery of our criminal justice system. How can we possibly know the extent of this type of crime, when the police are setting themselves up as judges by preventing the matter from even getting to court?
For these reasons, we shall be referring this matter to the Human Rights Commission for their urgent investigation. This type of intolerance and violence must be stopped, and stopped now.