Sex predators lurk within the shadows of society, preying on the innocent to satisfy their perverted needs. Yet, there are those who refuse to allow these perpetrators to get away with their actions.
The South African Police Service’s Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS), within Division Detective Services, has between, January 1 and June 30, nationally recorded a sizable number of convictions and lengthy sentences. All these cases are in regards to crimes against women and children. These crimes include murder, rape and child pornography.
A total of 217 life and over 11 800 years’ imprisonment sentences was achieved from 1 385 cases with 1 357 accused.
As crimes against women and children are a priority for the South African Police Service, Police Minister Bheki Cele declared 2018 as the year to focus on women and children. The Minister dedicated this year’s Budget Vote Speech to honour those who have been the victims of gender-based violence. This was done under the theme Safety of women, children and vulnerable groups is the brighter future of South Africa.
The FCS Units around the country consists of dedicated members that go beyond the call of duty. They ensure survivors of heinous crimes, such as rape, murder and child pornography, don’t face secondary victimisation.
In May 2018, a court in Brits sentenced a 47-year-old man to eight life imprisonment sentences for raping three children aged 9, 10 and 11. One of these girls is his niece, which he impregnated.
In fact, it was the paternity tests proving he was the father of his niece’s child, which resulted in police investigations, which further led to the discovery of the other two victims.
In the Western Cape Province, Bellville, a case of child pornography earned an impressive conviction. One of the FCS’s Cyber Crimes Investigation received information about a man in possession of pornographic material.
Dedication, commitment and resilience by the investigators led to the arrest of the perpetrator. His charges are three counts of rape, four of sexual assault, 12 counts of manufacturing among other related charges. He will serve three life imprisonment for the rape, a total of 57 for other charges. His details are now in the National Sexual Offenders register.
Successfully investigated and prosecuted cases such as the above examples are evidence that the police are indeed prioritising crimes against women and children. Doing everything in their power to sensitise communities of paedophiles and other sexual offenders lurking in our communities.
The FCS Units, working in collaboration with Visible Policing, Social Crime Prevention Units conduct awareness campaigns throughout the year. These campaigns are specifically intensified during child protection week, women’s month. As well as 16 days of activism against women and children abuse.
“These awareness campaigns and convictions are commended. They are part of the SAPS Turnaround Vision. This culminates into the country’ National Development Plan, Vision 2030. A vision where all South Africans are and feel safe”, says National Commissioner, General John Khehla Sitole.
“The scourge of violence against women and children is a huge threat to our development as a nation. As the South African Police Service, we are committed in making South Africa safer for woman, children and the vulnerable groups.” said Minister Cele
“Unfortunately, most incidents of rape and child pornography happen behind closed doors, with no witnesses. The onus is on the victim to let the police know. They can then investigate, arrest and bring the perpetrator to book,” explains General Sitole.
The South African Police Service calls on parents and caregivers to report crimes committed against their children. Failure to report may result in the prosecution of the parent/caregiver or any adult who knows about the incident.
This comes after an incident in April this year. A 29-year-old mother faces life imprisonment for child abuse and defeating the ends of justice. As well as for failing to report and identifying her child’s rapist.
Police are also warning women about opening false cases, such as rape and assault. False cases see police waste valuable resources. People reporting false charges, will face charges of perjury and prosecuted.