This indicates that it’s either the justice system that is failing our people, or the police are failing to properly investigate these cases, the DA’s Refiloe Nt’sekhe said.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is deeply concerned that despite the number of gender-based violence cases opened, and arrests made between 1 March and 30 April, the conviction rate is low.
The DA called for an investigation into the rising cases of gender-based violence amid low convictions in Gauteng.
Reports are emerging that show gender-based violence has been escalating since the partial lifting of the ban on the sale of alcohol on 1 June as the country moved onto lockdown level 3.
The new statistics revealed by Gauteng MEC for community safety Faith Mazibuko showed that 5,082 cases of gender-based violence have been opened at police stations across Gauteng province.
But only 3,373 arrests have been made with 204 resulting in convictions.
She was replying to written questions from DA social development spokesperson Refiloe Nt’sekhe in the legislature.
Nt’sekhe called on Mazibuko to investigate the low rate of convictions in cases of gender-based violence.
“It is very worrying that there is a low conviction rate which clearly indicates that it’s either the justice system that is failing our people, or the police are failing to properly investigate these cases.
“The lack of adequate investigation of gender-based violence cases has resulted in many cases being taken off the court roll due to a lack of sufficient evidence that can lead to prosecution,” Nt’sekhe said. “It is high time that cases of gender-based violence are prioritized to ensure justice for the victims.”
“The DA calls on MEC Mazibuko to investigate why there is such a low conviction rate on gender-based violence cases to ensure that the victims get the justice they deserve,” she added.
The call came as reports emerged that cases of gender based violence, including assault of women, had escalated since the partial lifting of the ban on the sale of alcohol.
The fight against gender-based violence has been put on top of the agenda under President Cyril Ramaphosa. He has said that anyone found guilty of this offence should be sentenced to long jail terms, without the option of fines.
The president has further suggested that anyone sentenced to life imprisonment for gender-based violence-related crimes should serve the entire jail term.
Source: The Citizen
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