Re-victimisation of two sexually assaulted children at the hands of SAPS necessitates urgent intervention by Minister Cele
14 March 2018
Disturbing media reports that two children were sexually assaulted by a South African Police Service (SAPS) forensic investigator reiterate the DA’s call to urgently root out convicted and compromised police members at Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) units.
The grade three pupils from AB Xuma Primary in Johannesburg were being interviewed by the investigator over their experience of sexual abuse by a school guard last year when the man allegedly abused them.
This is an example of how victims of sexual violence, especially children, can get re-victimised when those entrusted with the sole responsibility of helping victims of rape and violence are actual perpetrators themselves.
In a reply to our parliamentary question, the DA revealed that 57 police members working in the FCS units have criminal records themselves.
These are patently not the kind of people who should be working with children and other victims of domestic or sexual violence.
It is quite clear from the questionable conduct of these members that they cannot be entrusted with the responsibility of addressing the extremely high levels of violence against women and children.
Police Minister, Bheki Cele, committed in the National Assembly last week Wednesday that he would be following up on this serious issue when the DA asked what his plan of action was about these compromised members.
The DA has identified the police stations where these members work in the FCS units and in the coming weeks will be conducting oversight visits to the Free State and KwaZulu-Natal, among other provinces, to get to the bottom of these serious issues.
Minister Cele must now commit to a date by when these individuals will be removed from the system for good.
The point is that none of these 57 members should be in contact with victims of family violence at all.
This is an indictment on both the Minister and the entire SAPS leadership. This necessitates urgent intervention and decisive action by Minister Cele.
The DA will hold Minister Cele to account to root out these officers and to replace them with untainted individuals who will diligently bring justice to the victims and survivors of sexual abuse and domestic violence.
Issued by Zakhele Mbhele, DA Shadow Minister of Police, 14 March 2018