Delft is SA’s top hot spot for gender-based violence and femicide, Newsline

Cape Town – Delft is the top hot spot for gender-based violence (GBV) and femicide in the country.

Khayelitsha is at number nine, and Mfuleni at 14, with the province recording eight stations out of 30 listed in the country with the highest number of cases.

This was said by Police Minister Bheki Cele, Commissioner Khehla Sithole and police management when briefing the media on law enforcement during alert level 1.

During the briefing Cele also provided further details on the hot spot areas, where he said GBV is a societal evil that must be contained at all costs.

“As part of the police’s integrated sexual offences and GBV action plan, there are proactive measures with short, medium to long-term time frames,” said Cele.

He said, GBV remained a priority crime for the police.

He said as a prevention measure, the police would also continue to have sustained public awareness and community-based campaigns at the identified areas on GBV.

Cele said all police stations in those identified areas were expected to have a permanent desk dedicated to GBV. “This will go a long way in ensuring victims of gender crimes are responded to by trained officers in a professional way.”

He said the dedicated desk would reduce the risk of ill-treatment at the hands of officers, as they have seen in some instances.

“These permanent desks should not be limited to the hot spots areas only but should be a norm at all stations. We are also forging ahead with our plans of ensuring that victim-friendly rooms meet all requirements and are available at all police stations,” he said.

Cele said police stations should have access to DNA collection kits at all times in the identified areas and beyond.

This comes after an activist, Lucinda Evans, called for the police to locate a dedicated desk within the community police forums to closely work with police in the fight against GBV.

Sithole said a medium to long-term goal is the addressing of the GBV case backlog as well as re-looking at cold cases. The capacitating of the specialised Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit that handles all GBV and femicide cases was ongoing and so was the training of members.

SA Youth Council provincial secretary Zuko Mndayi said recently that the council handed over a memorandum of demands highlighting the inadequacy of police stations and called for a specialised unit to deal with GBV and related crimes. Mndayi said it was shockingly sad to note that despite those efforts, victims continued to receive “obscene treatment” in Gugulethu police station, which was also listed among the top 30 stations.

“Like many other police stations in the province, Gugulethu police station has been notorious for its treatment of victims of domestic violence and grossly failing to protect them,” he said.

DA provincial spokesperson on social development Gillion Bosman said he has previously called on the national government to adapt the Western Cape-led hot spot model for the purpose of defeating GBV, just as they have done with Covid-19 in the province.

Gillion said unfortunately, it simply would not be enough to dispense extra funding to Thuthuzela and Khuseleka care centres, when police stations lack rape kits.

Cape Argus