Gender-based violence tackled in Gauteng
Gauteng’s department of community safety says it is making progress in the fight against gender-based violence in the province.
Head of the department‚ Yoliswa Makhasi‚ presented a report on Friday‚ explaining how the provincial government was working with police to fight the scourge.
Makhasi said that community safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane had decided to "ring-fence" specific cases of gender-based violence so they could be followed until conviction. This involved monitoring the progress of cases and providing support to victims and their families.
In the 2017/18 financial year‚ the department ring-fenced 550 cases of gender-based violence‚ which included rape and murder. Of those 550 cases‚ 75 ended in convictions‚ 68 were withdrawn‚ 35 resulted in fines being issued‚ the accused are awaiting sentencing in 21 cases and 351 are still under police investigation.
Makhasi said there was more cooperation between police‚ the department and the courts to ensure that perpetrators of this type of violence were arrested‚ put on trial and convicted.
However‚ she said‚ there were problems around the withdrawal of charges. Out of 142 police stations in Gauteng‚ 59 did not have victim empowerment centres.
"We are concerned that 68 cases have been withdrawn. We are concerned that victims withdraw their cases‚" said Makhasi.
Makhasi presented her report to the Gauteng portfolio committee on community safety‚ which sat in the Johannesburg City Hall.