Tough GBV crack­down looms

Lamola says the Cab­i­net is pre­par­ing to give go-ahead for new laws against scourge to be fast-tracked

Pretoria News - - FRONT PAGE - SIYABONGA MKHWANAZI

JUS­TICE and Cor­rec­tional Ser­vices Min­is­ter Ron­ald Lamola says they are work­ing on a set of laws to crack down on gen­der-based vi­o­lence with the Cab­i­net ex­pected to fast-track th­ese laws.

This fol­lows the ram­pant in­crease in gen­der-based vi­o­lence (GBV) cases dur­ing the lock­down.

Min­is­ters in the se­cu­rity clus­ter were yes­ter­day an­swer­ing ques­tions in the Na­tional Coun­cil of Prov­inces (NCOP) on fight­ing crime in the coun­try.

Lamola said they had pro­posed a num­ber of laws that will be fast­tracked af­ter ap­proval by the Cab­i­net and sent to the na­tional leg­is­la­ture.

Par­lia­ment was in­volved in a de­bate two weeks ago when the of­fi­cial op­po­si­tion ques­tioned the state­ment by Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa that the na­tional leg­is­la­ture had not yet ap­proved th­ese laws.

But Speaker Thandi Modise in­ter­vened and the gov­ern­ment said the laws were still be­ing pro­cessed at Cab­i­net level be­fore be­ing re­ferred to Par­lia­ment.

Lamola told the NCOP the Cab­i­net was still con­sult­ing on the bills to fight gen­der-based vi­o­lence in the coun­try.

The ques­tion on GBV came at the time the Na­tional Assem­bly was deal­ing with the mat­ter yes­ter­day.

MPs have raised con­cern about the spike in cases dur­ing the lock­down.

The in­tro­duc­tion of new laws is meant to tighten mea­sures against the scourge.

Mean­while, Po­lice Min­is­ter Bheki Cele said there have been 49 cases of po­lice bru­tal­ity that are be­ing in­ves­ti­gated since the lock­down be­gan.

He said they had con­cluded in­ves­ti­ga­tions into 36 of the cases.

Dur­ing the lock­down po­lice had ar­rested 267 000 peo­ple for vi­o­lat­ing lock­down reg­u­la­tions, he said.

Eight of­fi­cers had been killed dur­ing this pe­riod.

Cele said de­spite the cases of po­lice bru­tal­ity the of­fi­cers were of­ten re­minded of the new dis­pen­sa­tion.

“Po­lice are for­ever re­minded that they are polic­ing un­der the Con­sti­tu­tion

and hu­man rights (laws),” he said.

“I have said since the lock­down be­gan we have lost eight mem­bers of the po­lice who have been shot dead,” said Cele.

But cases of po­lice bru­tal­ity would be in­ves­ti­gated, he said.

De­fence and Mil­i­tary Vet­er­ans Min­is­ter No­siviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said the mur­der of Collins Khosa of Alexandra by the army was a sub­ject of three in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

She said they had to wait for the in­ves­ti­ga­tions by the Mil­i­tary Om­bud, the Board of In­quiry and the SAPS.

She said once the in­ves­ti­ga­tions had been con­cluded they would make the find­ings pub­lic.

The army has al­ready acted in line with the court or­der to sus­pend of­fi­cers im­pli­cated in Khosa’s mur­der.

But they were now wait­ing for the re­port by the three bod­ies, which would be re­leased in due course.

| COURT­NEY AFRICA African News Agency (ANA)

A PROTEST against gen­der-based vi­o­lence took place out­side Par­lia­ment yes­ter­day. It was at­tended by a large group of mostly women, wear­ing black and hold­ing plac­ards de­nounc­ing vi­o­lence against women.

African News Agency (ANA)

JUS­TICE and Cor­rec­tional Ser­vices Min­is­ter Ron­ald Lamola says they are work­ing on a set of laws to crack down on gen­der-based vi­o­lence. |

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