Thu, 20 Jun 2019

DA Women's Network calls for SAPS overhaul

10 Dec 2018, 23:37 GMT+10

As the 16 Days of Activism campaign against gender-based violence comes to end, the DA Women's Network (DAWN) has called for a South Africa Police Service (SAPS) overhaul in a bid to improve the policing of issues affecting women and children.

The overhaul was one of the demands the network listed in a memorandum of grievances.

DAWN staged a picket outside the police's Maupa-Naga offices in Sunnyside, Pretoria on Monday, holding up "Fix SAPS Now" posters.

Western Cape Health MEC, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo, told the crowd that, although the 16 Days of Activism campaign ended, activism was needed 365 days a year.

READ: Standing in support of 16 Days of Activism

"Majority of the abuse is by people we know. It's done by our husbands, it's done by our fathers, it's done by our brothers, it's done by our employers," Mbombo said.

"[Police] Minister Bheki Cele, we appeal to you today to actually ensure that women are protected - not just only after they are raped or abused."

Memorandum of grievances

DAWN handed over the memorandum of grievances to the police, spelling out what it believed was needed to do to ensure the safety of women and children.

In the grievances, DAWN called for the overhaul, saying the police needed to become "an organisation that serves and protects our women and children".

READ MORE: Bleak start to the 16 Days of Activism campaign in Umtentweni

They also said that police officers should be regularly trained to properly deal with rape victims and other sensitive issues, and said rape cases should be handled rapidly.

In addition, DAWN called for the creation of specialised units which focus on making streets safe for women and children, as well as the setting up of state-funded safe houses for abused women and children.

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