In a press statement on Friday, the DA fumed over the fact that only 3% of those arrested for GBV during lockdown have been convicted…
MP Alexandra Abrahams said that the party would be submitting questions to Minister of Police Bheki Cele to clarify the issue.
The lack of convictions was brought to light in a reply to a DA Parliamentary question, submitted by Cele.
According to the minister, of the 4 058 individuals who were charged for Gender Based Violence (GBV) since the announcement of lockdown in March, only 130 have been convicted. This translates to a conviction rate of only 3%.
“It is beyond question that, as a result of the low conviction rate, the justice system is letting down the victims of GBV by exposing them to potential re-victimisation,” said Abrahams.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) will be submitting follow up questions to Minister Bheki Cele asking him to provide clarity on:
- The status of the cases for the 3 928 perpetrators of GBV who were charged but have never convicted; and
- What is being done to provide protection for the victims whose abusers are yet to convicted?
“While the DA welcomes the recent introduction of the three bills to tackle Gender Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF), namely, the Criminal and Related Matters Bill, the Domestic Violence Amendment Bill, and the Criminal law (sexual offences related matters) Amendment Bill – all of which are still open for public comment – immediate steps must be taken to send a clear message to perpetrators of GBV that their behaviour will not be tolerated.”
President’s tough stance on GBV
In his address to the nation on Wednesday evening, President Ramaphosa said the government would be taking a very strong approach to tackling GBV.
“We are determined to continue with our resolve to deal with the scourge of gender-based violence and femicide. Based on the latest data, we have identified 30 hotspots around the country where this problem is most rife,” said Ramaphosa.
“As we move to the next alert level, we are increasing and improving support services for survivors of gender-based violence, particularly in the identified hotspots.”
“Let us spare no effort to eradicate the problem of violence against women and children.”