“The gang rape of eight women in Westville, Krugersdorp is horrific,” said Ian Cameron, director of community safety at Action Society. “This is the legacy of cadre deployment, which destroyed crime intelligence and preventative measures in our police service.”
According to the police, a production company was shooting a music video on Thursday when a group of armed men attacked them. The men fired shots in the air, told everyone to lie down and then proceeded to rape the women. They also robbed them of equipment valued at more than R1,5 million. Some reports link the incident to ongoing fights between Zama Zamas and other groups.
President Cyril Ramaphosa today called it ‘a manifestation of how gender-based violence spreads’ while attending the ANC’s Policy Conference at Nasrec. He said the conference must develop ways to support women and instructed ‘comrade’ Bheki Cele to leave no stone unturned in apprehending the perpetrators.
“The president’s condemnation and shock mean nothing. It won’t make the women’s traumatic experience better,” said Cameron. “It is because of his – and his predecessors’ – appointment of incompetent cadres in the South African Police Service and the criminal justice system that people – especially women – in this country live in fear.
“Action Society has long been saying that Minister Cele is out of his depth in managing the SAPS, and this is yet another example of why he should get the boot,” said Cameron.
Action Society believes the following steps should be implemented to create a successful police force.
- Do a skills audit in the SAPS to determine the merit of appointments and sack members not appointed on merit.
- Polygraph all members – starting with leadership – to determine whether they have been involved in any corrupt activities; if so, sack them.
- Restore crime intelligence capabilities.
- Reinstate specialised units that can effectively deal with serious violent crime without living in the community where they work.
- Crime kingpins, including those with state connections, must be targeted and taken out of operation.
- Restore reservist capabilities, specifically to support specialised units. It is of utmost importance that these reservists do not come from the said communities for intimidation to be limited.
- Pay police members properly.
- Implement police devolution in the Western Cape as a proof of concept.
Follow this link to support Action Society’s campaign to get Cele fired.
Image from Twitter: @BEASTONSCROLLA