More than 100 police officers on GBV charges, including murder and rape

The cases include rape, statutory rape, murder, domestic violence, attempted murder, assault GBH, contempt of court, malicious damage to property, intimidation and pointing a firearm

20 October 2020 - 18:16
Bheki Cele says 139 police officers have gender-based violence charges hanging over their heads - and that's in just 13 police stations across the country.
Bheki Cele says 139 police officers have gender-based violence charges hanging over their heads - and that's in just 13 police stations across the country.
Image: GCIS

As many as 139 police officers have gender-based violence (GBV) charges hanging over their heads — and this at just 13 police stations across SA.

This is according to police minister Bheki Cele in a written parliamentary response to the DA this week.

The cases include rape, statutory rape, murder, domestic violence, attempted murder, assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, contempt of court, malicious damage to property, intimidation and pointing a firearm.

The DA said it was concerned at the revelation.

“Of major concern is that, of the 113 police stations in which the perpetrators work, five of them are already in the top 30 list of GBV hotspots that was released by minister Cele in September. These include: Umlazi and Ntuzuma in KZN, Bloemspruit in the Free State, and Mitchells Plain and Gugulethu in the Western Cape,” said DA shadow minister of public service and administration, Michele Clarke.

The party urged Cele to adopt a strong stance on GBV, as the revelations come days after parliament is due to host public hearing on three bills concerning GBV.

“It is important that minister Cele takes a public stand against GBV by drawing the line against harbouring perpetrators within SAPS ranks,” said Clarke.

While it remained unclear if the 139 officers remained on duty, Clarke said the DA would seek clarity.

“The DA will be submitting supplementary questions to the minister asking him to clarify whether the perpetrators have been charged for their offences, are on active duty or have been dismissed,” Clarke said.

The provincial breakdown was provided by Cele as follows:  

  • Eastern Cape — 11 cases;
  • Free State — 20 cases;
  • Gauteng — 7 cases;
  • KwaZulu-Natal — 20 cases;
  • Limpopo — 8 cases;
  • Mpumalanga — 1 case;
  • North West — 6 case;
  • Northern Cape — 14 cases; and
  • Western Cape — 26 cases.

The party said it would hold Cele responsible.

“Violence against women is a national crisis and we cannot allow their re-victimisation at police stations manned by perpetrators of GBV. The fight against GBV requires a police service that women can trust and rely on during their time of need.

“The DA will continue to hold the minister accountable to his avowed commitment to address the GBV crisis and ensure that SAPS meets the objectives set out in its GBV action plan,” said Clarke.

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