May 23 2017 – POLICE Minister Fikile Mbalula on Tuesday declared that no woman reporting abuse should be turned away from a police station and at the same time recounted how as a young boy he watched one of his sisters being abused by her boyfriend.
Shortly before tabling his department’s R87 billion budget in Parliament, Mbalula told reporters at a media briefing that he would be meeting with police commanders across the country to ensure that specialised units are set up to deal with women reporting rape and abuse in a sensitive manner.
In addition, women would be advised not to withdraw charges against their aggressors.
“If you have reported the case, judgement must be made by the prosecution or the investigating officer about whether or not such a case has the merits to be withdrawn or not,” he said.
“Women are not always in a position to make a rational judgement. Probably you are dependent on this person. You are vulnerable by virtue of just being dependent on somebody, materially and otherwise.”
The minister went on to recall his own experience of watching one of his sisters being abused by her then boyfriend when he went to Welkom as a young boy.
“This guy, he’s got money. He promises he’s going to buy you new school shoes. This guy beat my sister, abused her…I left, I went at night in the rain to get help. My sister was beaten, abused to the point where she was paralysed,” he said.
“I know this thing. It almost killed her.”
The Zimbabwe Consulate, is investigating a case where a Zimbabwean woman was raped by 11 Tanzanian men, in Johannesburg on her way home, as SA is hit by an upsurge in violence particularly against women.
Mbalula went on to warn men that buying their girlfriends expensive gifts did not mean they could take ownership of a woman.
“We grew up with it. We didn’t have anything, but your last cent, you will go bankroll a girlfriend you love so much.”
“You are giving these things with expectation to own a human being. You have no right to own anybody…These are societal problems, petty jealousies, don’t do things that will hurt your heart.”
Young people had to be educated about love, the minister said.
“If you can’t find love in the street, find it in the church.”
“Even those who march and say [we are]real men. You’ll see a real man when he is jilted.”
The minister warned women against listening to family and friends who advise them to resolve the matter without police intervention.
“Today you are being klapped [slapped]and you put up with it. Tomorrow, you are being kicked and you put up with it, and then tomorrow you are being shot and you put up with it and the families come in and say this matter can be properly resolved between families and you put up with it and the last is the trigger, you die… – ANA