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For immediate release: 03 June 2019
To: Editors, Producers and Reporters
Gender Commission subpoenas SAPS to account for implementation of its recommendations
On 30 May 2019, the South African Police Service (SAPS) appeared before the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) to account for the implementation of the recommendations that arose from an initial investigative hearing held on 25 September 2018.
With the powers vested in the CGE (as per Section 11 (1) e of the CGE Act 36 of 1996, as amended), SAPS was issued with a notice to appear in a hearing to explain the extent to which recommendations have been implemented.
It should be noted that the CGE legal department had been monitoring the progress of implementing the recommendations and it was the view of the CGE that some recommendations were not implemented by 30 May 2019. Some of these recommendations which were reached on 25 September 2018 include the following, inter alia:
- Turn around on the administration of DNA testing especially in cases that involve Gender Based Violence (GBV) and Domestic Violence.
- Poor enforcement of protection orders by SAPS.
- Training and workshops to be conducted for police officers in order obtain additional knowledge on dealing with gender-based cases.
- Unresolved sample cases from which the CGE identified anomalies that could either delay a successful conclusion or a possible conviction of gender-based crimes.
In the follow up hearing held yesterday it transpired that most of the aspects above remain pending for implementation.
SAPS admitted that there has been slow pace in accelerating process of DNA testing which are often used in gender-based crimes.
SAPS cited administrative problems and the unavailability of adequate equipment for DNA testing. With regards to protection orders, SAPS reported that it is in the process of strengthening their efforts to raise awareness within their internal ranks of visible policing on the importance and consequences relating to non-issuance of protection order on perpetrators of gender-based crimes.
SAPS also reported that even though they have provided training and workshops on gender related matters more needs to be done in order to ensure that the focus pertains to training of entry level police officers. With regards to unresolved cases, SAPS emphasised the fact that their role is often paired with that of the prosecutors in order to arrive at successful convictions of gender-based crimes. It was in this regard that SAPS committed to working closely with the National Prosecuting Authority in order to determine a model that is conducive for both police and prosecutors in the process of administering justice.
Apart from the above-mentioned factors, the CGE also heard that there are some cases of sexual harassment within SAPS which were not resolved satisfactorily. The National Commissioner of SAPS has committed to review such cases so that the victims of sexual harassment are satisfied with the outcomes.
The National Commissioner of SAPS has also pledged the following as part of the solutions the problems/challenges mentioned above:
- SAPS will create a National Nodal Point, which will serve as the means to ensure that information pertaining to cases related to gender-based crimes are dealt with using three key aspects in an investigation, i.e. legal services, visible policing, and investigation officers. The nodal point will also assist the CGE in obtaining information about the status of cases that might be prolonged.
- SAPS will develop the Modus Operandi Analysis as well as the Cold-Case Strategy as a technique to investigate the killings of witnesses.
- Regarding the delays in issuing DNA test results, the SAPS’ Forensic Services Division has committed to a speedy resolve of making DNA kits in police stations available, especially those that are in remote areas has a new turnaround strategy SAPS will continue to provide training and workshops on gender sensitivity and sexual harassment in their workplace.
- SAPS has committed to drafting an integrated plan that will factor in all of the factors that have not yet been implemented.
The hearing concluded that all of the above commitments need to be made with deadlines determined by both SAPS and the CGE. The CGE has offered to provide further assistance on the implementation of the recommendations so that all matters are resolved in spirit of serving the victims of gender-based crimes.
Issued by: Commission for Gender Equality (CGE)
Date: 03 June 2019
Contact Person: Javu Baloyi
Tel: 083 579 3306
The Commission for Gender Equality is established in terms of Section 187 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa in order to promote respect for gender equality and the protection, development and attainment of gender equality.
Twitter Handle: @CGE_ZA. Facebook Page: Gender Commission of South Africa. Toll Free Number: 0800 007 709. GBV Toll Free Number: 0800 428 428 Witness, Survivors and victims of GBV can send Please Call Me at *120*7867#