Angered by the sudden rise of violence against women across South Africa including that of Grace Mugabe, Police Minister Fikile Mbalula has come up with a new rule which he believed would keep women safe.
The minister, during the launch of app for victims of violence, said he will focus on ensuring that police acted on cases of gender-based violence as they had received numerous complaints about how reported cases were handled.
Asked whether action would be taken against perpetrators regardless of their social or political standard, Mbalula referred to the recent assault case of retired football player Marks Maponyane.
“I must never be caught in an act of abusing women because of my position. The law must take its course. You slap a woman, you go to jail,” he said, hitting the fact that women in South Africa will be protected from violent people and that anyone caught should be used to teach the society morals.
Mbalula confirmed that he has received a number of cases where women are killed by violent men. He said in most cases where women were killed, they had previously reported an assault but it was not investigated, or the victim had withdrawn the case.
“We have a lot of potential victims of murder, rape and domestic violence among us. These are our friends and family,” Mbalula said.
“We need not see bruises to open a case. Each slap in the face is a potential femicide. Each unwanted touching is a potential rape,” he said at the Eldorado Park police station on Friday where he announced a six-point plan for dealing with gender-based violence.
These plans include:
1. All victims should be treated with respect, dignity and interviewed by a trained police official in a sensitive manner;
2. Victims should have their statements taken in a “victim friendly room”;
3. Victims will be referred to or taken for medical examination to obtain medical evidence and complete a medical report;
4. The investigation should be conducted by the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Investigation Unit, or a detective with the relevant training;
5. The families and victims of sexual offences, femicide and infanticide should all be referred to victim support services for legal, medical, social and psychological help and;
6. Victims should get regular feedback on the progress of their cases.