Cape Town – Police Minister Fikile Mbalula has called on women to report cases of abuse at a time when women have been “under siege”.
The Minister said this when he briefed journalists in Cape Town ahead of the Ministry’s Budget Vote debate on Tuesday.
“Our ability to protect South Africa must be validated by our ability to protect the most vulnerable members of society – women and children.
“South Africa is engulfed by the attacks against women and children… Society must have an in-depth reflection on what has gone wrong in our country, while police continue to bring perpetrators to book.
“I urge all women to report all forms of abuse before we lose lives,” he said.
The Minister lauded the manner in which the media has carried reports of cases with regard to women being abused and killed, and said the fourth estate has been more constructive and brought the necessary awareness to the issue.
“We need these kinds of partnerships to fight all forms of crimes, especially the ones directed at women and children. South Africans must continue using social media to highlight abuse against women but we urge them to report these cases to the police.”
The Minister said, meanwhile, that police would soon embark on a national campaign to ensure that women are protected and not turned away from police stations when reporting cases of abuse.
He said this amid reports that Karabo Mokoena, 22, who was allegedly killed and burned by her boyfriend recently, was turned away from a police station when she tried to open a case.
Calls for communities to partner with police to fight crime
The Minister said, meanwhile, that communities should partner with police in fighting against crime. He said the social fabric of society has slowly been eroded due to criminality and blatant disregard of the law, which has brought him to the conclusion that society is under siege and police must mobilise communities to fight crime.
He said the country’s apartheid past – where those that gave information to police were regarded as informers or apartheid spies – has led to a tradition of mistrust between members of the public and the police.
“Therefore, it is the aim of this Ministry to mobilise society and forge unity with the community in fighting crime and corruption.
“We do this knowing very well that only when our communities partner with the police will we be able to defeat criminality.
“I know very well that these criminals stay in communities and are well-known by communities. Therefore, we urge communities to mobilise, to partner with the police in fighting against this criminality.
“The police have no business being associated with criminals. We need to be hard on criminals. We must instil fear in criminals… We must inspire confidence in our people. They must trust that the police are their biggest ally in the fight against crime.”
Minister Mbalula said, meanwhile, that the Ministry would work tirelessly to reduce the number of lawsuits that are brought against the Minister of Police, as they have “vast financial implications”.
“We are developing better approaches in minimising the value of civil claims, the quantum of damages and the legal costs that are paid by the State.
“We are implementing the National Development Plan vision that directs the police service to be demilitarised,” he said