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On Wednesday, the DA conducted unannounced oversight inspections to the Moroka South African Police Service (SAPS) station in Soweto and the Hillbrow SAPS station. The DA will conduct a series of oversight visits to the 30 SAPS stations in Johannesburg with the highest instances of reported rapes, sexual assault and gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF).
At both Moroka and Hillbrow stations the DA saw the desperate need for social workers to assist police officials when dealing with GBVF survivors. While the Moroka station has one social worker, an auxiliary social worker and 4 volunteers, the need far outweighs what these social workers have capacity to deliver.
The Hillbrow station does not have any social workers on site and all the victims of the GBVF cases opened at the station are referred to Ikhaya Lethemba in Braamfontein.
There is also a need for sensitivity training of all officials dealing with GBVF survivors, and the DA calls for a country-wide training programme to be implemented as a matter of urgency.
The Hillbrow station commander, Brigadier Nevhuhulwi, mentioned the need for more vehicles to increase visible policing in the area.
The DA would like to applaud both stations for the stocking of rape kits at the stations, and for their comforting victim empowerment rooms. Hillbrow station also showed initiative by instituting its own GBVF awareness campaign.
Only through education and dedication can the GBVF tide be turned. The 16 days of activism for no violence against women and children campaign cannot be the only time attention is paid to this increasing problem. SAPS and all South Africans must confront this pandemic at every opportunity.
Issued by DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Woman, Youth and People with Disabilities Nazley Sharif