Limpopo rape crisis – DA starts consultations on new law

Desiree van der Walt MPL

DA Limpopo Legislature Caucus Leader

In response to the police inefficiency to combat the growing rape crisis in Limpopo, the DA today expresses our intention to table the Limpopo Community Safety Bill.

We are joined today by the mother of a rape victim who has provided her full support for this Bill in solidarity with all with the families of victims who are still awaiting justice for the trauma that their loved ones have been subjected to.

This mother’s story is one of many tragic examples of inefficient police work in Limpopo. After receiving 2 doctor’s reports that her 2 year old child had been molested, allegedly by a member of her church community, this mother approached the police.

After waiting the entire day in a police station without any assistance, this mother was told days later by the police that there would be no investigation as the case had no merit.

Research recently published in a City Press article shows that at least 5 850 women and children were likely to have been raped in Limpopo since January.

Despite immense publicity around many of these cases, we have seen a disappointing level of police work in response.

We are yet to see convictions for the brutal rape and murder of 3 young school children in Mokgoopong.

The young women of Sebitja High School continue to walk to school under the threat of rape, with no action being taken against the offenders.

In response to these cases, the DA intends to start formal public consultations on this Bill in order to draw support from groups and families affected by the rape crisis.

The aim of this Bill is to make police more accountable to the safety needs of communities through a partnership between community groups and provincial government.

By passing this Bill, our province will have the following strategic crime prevention advantages:

  • Limpopo’s own dedicated and independent Provincial Police Ombudsman to investigate complaints about police inefficiency. The present system of Independent Police Investigative Directorate only caters for situations where police are involved in crime.
  • The shifting of power to determine the policing needs of each local area from the National Commissioner to local communities.
  • The MEC will have powers to accredit neighbourhood watches and provide support, training and resources where necessary. At the moment these structures are collapsing because there is no cohesion in dealing with them.
  • Mandatory reports to be provided to the MEC by the Provincial Police Commissioner including cases reported, investigated and convictions achieved; firearms lost; deaths caused by police activity or any other matter relating to the efficiency of the police’s relationship with communities.

The DA will make further announcements in due course on our progress in tabling the Bill and lobbying for the support of our fellow public representatives.

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