All SA police stations now have rape kits, Bheki Cele tells MPs

'We have three years where there will be no shortage'

13 November 2019 - 18:16 By THABO MOKONE
Bheki Cele has finally delivered on his promise to provide rape kits to all police stations in SA.
Bheki Cele has finally delivered on his promise to provide rape kits to all police stations in SA.
Image: JACKIE CLAUSEN

Police minister Bheki Cele has assured the national assembly that all 1,142 police stations across the country are now in possession of rape kits.

This comes after Cele missed his own October deadline after he made the undertaking in September, when the issue of gender-based violence was under sharp public scrutiny.

President Cyril Ramaphosa told MPs two weeks ago that he would hold Cele accountable on the issue of rape kits after it was brought to his attention during his oral question sessions that the police minister had missed the deadline.

Rape kits are used by police to gather DNA evidence when probing sexual offences. Their scarcity has seen those accused of sexual crimes escaping without punishment.

Responding to a question from DA MP Andrew Whitfield on Wednesday in the National Assembly, Cele said all police stations around the country now had rape kits.

"All provinces have no single police station that is minus the kits at the present moment," declared Cele.

"All police stations have enough kits that are regarded as rape kits as we speak.

"We had said on October 12 all stations would have. Indeed, not all police stations did. Most of these kits were taken to FCS [family violence, child protection and sexual offences] units."

Cele said he was confident that SAPS would not encounter a shortage of rape kits in the next three years, as a contract covering that period had been signed with a supplier.

"I'm not sure about 'never again', but the measure that we've put in place is that we've signed a three-year agreement of supply going forward. At least we know that we have three years where there will be no shortage, where we have enough space to work ... so that this problem that happened does not repeat."


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