DA bemoans low rape conviction rate and lack of police

By Doug Mattushek - 18 September 2019Views : 580

Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane revealed that the government needs to prioritise the safety of women in order to curb gender-based violence.

Maimane delivered a speech at parliament on Wednesday afternoon during the urgent sitting called by President Cyril Ramaphosa to discuss gender based violence.

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"Every day 114 women report that they have been raped," revealed Maimane.

"The tragedy is that no one gets arrested and prosecuted for this. The conviction rate for rape is a shameful 5%. Many of these women are brutally murdered."

Maimane went on to list the names of those found dead in recent weeks, including University of Cape Town student Uyinene Mrwetyana that sparked protests in the Mother City and beyond.

"Right now only 16% of police stations meet the UN's police-to-population ratio of 1 to 220," continued Maimane.

"My own hometown of Dobsonville, Soweto, has to make do with a ratio of one police officer for every 1090 citizens. Now compare this to our so-called VIPs in government, who have 81 police officers for every VIP.

"Surely that can't be right. We need to take that money and spend it on things like rape kits for the 76% of police station that have no such kits at all.

"It also can’t be that we spend R350 per day to keep an inmate in prison, but only R70 per day to keep a woman safe in a shelter. We have to get our priorities straight."

Maimane added that the DA will introduce a Gender Based Violence Bill before the end of the year to combat some of these issues.

"The Bill will deal with applying for and enforcing protection orders from the court," he said.

"It will also call for an online register of these domestic violence court orders so that this information can be accessed across different cities and towns.

"This Bill will make it possible for us to increase our conviction rate for gender-based violence. It will be tabled before the end of the year."