“President Ramaphosa should rethink his statement that men are the problem when speaking about murder and assault,” said Ian Cameron, Director of Community Safety at Action Society. “It is typical for the government to shrug their shoulders and blame someone else when they are failing vulnerable South Africans.”
The president made this statement in his weekly blog to the nation.
Action Society feels that the serious issues surrounding DNA processing, a defunct National Register of Sex Offenders (NRSO), poor policework and low conviction rates – which all reside under the management of the government – should be to blame.
DNA backlog – the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, had been promising for years that the DNA backlog, which according to his creative calculations, stands at 71 000, will be cleared, only to move the deadline every time it expires.
NRSO – the register, which should protect the vulnerable against sex offenders, had a backlog of almost 12 000 applications for clearance certificates in June 2022.
SAPS – the police are under-resourced and mismanaged, leading to the murder of 19 511 people (of which 89% of victims are men) and 38 937 recorded cases of sexual offences in 2022. The number of sexual offences is underreported, as many women believe their assailant will not face justice.
Conviction rates – Statutory Sexual Offences Courts had to be established and resourced according to the law from 7 February 2020, but no section 55A sexual offences courts have been established by 20 June 2022. Furthermore, the Department of Justice proudly states a conviction rate of around 75% in sexual offences, but that number only refers to verdict to conviction, not registration to sentence.
“There are many men who walk the extra mile despite challenges caused by poor governance to fend and protect their families and communities, Mr President,” said Cameron. “Maybe you should appoint the good men in our country to get the job done.”