GBV victim seemingly abandoned by police: Cleveland SAPS’s failure to arrest a violent rapist


GBV victim seemingly abandoned by police: Cleveland SAPS’s failure to arrest a violent rapist
GBV victim seemingly abandoned by police: Cleveland SAPS's failure to arrest a violent rapist

A week after Women’s Day, AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit demands answers from the SAPS about yet another failure to ensure the safety of a victim of gender-based violence or to arrest the perpetrator.

The Private Prosecution Unit was contacted by a former employer of yet another victim of gender-based violence. The victim reportedly resigned from her workplace and fled to a place of safety for fear of her life. Her identity is therefore not being disclosed.

The victim was allegedly kidnapped from her home in July 2021 and taken to a guest house where she was raped by a person known to her.

She also allegedly survived an attempt on her life in September 2021 after her alleged kidnapper and rapist shot her repeatedly outside her home.

This attack came weeks after the victim reportedly lodged a complaint with the police. (The name of the suspect is known to the unit)

The Cleveland SAPS – where the respective cases were reported – has not yet arrested the suspect although he was identified by the victim as the perpetrator.

Adv. Gerrie Nel, Head of AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit, wrote to Lt. Gen. Elias Mawela, Gauteng Provincial Police Commissioner, to express the unit’s concern about the issue. Nel lamented the police’s failure to ensure the complainant’s safety and arrest the suspect as yet another shameful example of how the criminal justice system has failed victims of gender-based violence, despite promises from the government and President Cyril Ramaphosa during Women’s Month .

“The president’s speech on Women’s Day means nothing at all if the members of the SAPS fail to fulfill their basic duty. We argue that the SAPS has shamelessly abandoned our client on every one of her fundamental rights,” says Nel.

“We expect Commissioner Mawela to give us meaningful feedback on the investigation as well as an explanation as to why the suspect has not yet been arrested. Our client’s life has been turned upside down, not only by the horrors of the crimes committed against her, but also the continued failure of the police to arrest a violent, armed rapist.”

Read the original article in Afrikaans on AfriForum