‘Women only on rape cases’

Sunday Tribune - - METRO - SITHANDIWE VELAPHI sithandiwe.vel­[email protected]

MALE po­lice of­fi­cials han­dle sex­ual vi­o­lence cases in a man­ner that is un­fair to­wards vic­tims, and should be dis­al­lowed from such cases, said Po­lice Min­is­ter Bheki Cele.

In­stead of as­sist­ing vic­tims, Cele said male of­fi­cials were play­ing a “sec­ond tor­ture” game by in­ter­ro­gat­ing even the at­tire of vic­tims “as if they were fash­ion ad­vis­ers”.

Cele ad­dressed res­i­dents at Nqadu Great Place in Wil­low­vale in the Eastern Cape on Fri­day. He vis­ited the Xhosa king­dom to launch the Tra­di­tional Polic­ing Con­cept, which aims to foster a polic­ing part­ner­ship be­tween tra­di­tional lead­ers and po­lice.

Manned by po­lice of­fi­cials work­ing with the com­mu­nity, the con­cept will be based at all six king­doms of the Eastern Cape.

Cele ap­pealed to all sta­tion com­man­ders in the coun­try to make sure cases of sex­ual vi­o­lence were re­ported to fe­male of­fi­cials.

“It is painful see­ing a woman raped by a man and she has to go re­port that case to man (in the po­lice sta­tion). Fe­male of­fi­cials un­der­stand these cases bet­ter than their male coun­ter­parts who would ask things like why a woman was wear­ing a mini skirt. It’s not your mini skirt, so stop be­ing so pre­oc­cu­pied with it,” Cele said.

Na­tional Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Gen­eral Khehla Si­tole said by part­ner­ing with tra­di­tional lead­ers, po­lice wanted to change the “West­ern ap­proach” of polic­ing to a tra­di­tional one. “We be­lieve if com­mu­ni­ties in ru­ral ar­eas work closely with po­lice… crim­i­nal ac­tiv­i­ties will be dealt with.”

Eastern Cape po­lice com­mis­sioner Lieu­tenant-gen­eral Liziwe Nt­shinga said the con­cept would im­prove re­sponse time as ru­ral folks would no longer have to call ur­ban-based po­lice sta­tions to re­port crim­i­nal in­ci­dents.

“This con­cept came as a re­sult of the mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing be­tween SAPS, Cogta and Na­tional House of Tra­di­tional Lead­ers. We are happy it is tak­ing off, know­ing tra­di­tional lead­ers have closer re­la­tions with the com­mu­ni­ties they lead.” FOR THE RECORD

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