They said the situation is worrying as now sexual abuse becomes “a system”.
The DA in the Mpumalanga province wants an end to the scourge of sexual abuse as well as a properly equipped cop shop.
The party said since last year the number of reported rape cases in the KwaMhlanga area of Mpumalanga increased from 118 to 146 this year and they believe the number of rape incidents are rife when taking into considerations unreported cases.
Mpumalanga Premier candidate Jane Sithole together with DA Women’s Network leaders Nomafrench Mbombo and Annerie Weber submitted a memorandum of demands to the KwaMhlanga police station after a minor was raped in the area a week ago.
The KwaMhlanga police allegedly sent the minor back home when she tried to open a case, apparently citing that the officers responsible for rape victims were not available.
In their memorandum to police boss Brigadier Winnie Mavuso Monday mid-day this week, the three leaders said they wanted the cops to do more in making sure the victims of rape were protected.
Earlier, Sithole told the residents that the scourge of women abuse was actually “a system” and needed to be fought the “same way we fought Apartheid”.
She said it was worrying that KwaMhlanga continued to be leading in terms of rape cases and was unacceptable.
“That is wrong and if we sit down as community and do nothing it will continue. And also what made the suspects to be released so early is because the police are not able to handle evidence,” Sithole told the community members.
She said a week ago a child was raped in the area and the cops sent her back home without opening a case, apparently because the officials responsible to handle rape cases were not available.
“Today it can be a neighbour’s child or somebody you completely don’t know and if you don’t stand up against it, tomorrow it’s your own child or yourself,” she said.
“I always say that Apartheid was defeated by the community. The community stood up and said ‘we are sick and tired of this system’ and today this system of sexual abuse must be defeated by the community,” Sithole said.
In her address, Mpumalanga DA Women’s Network leader Annerie Weber said it was “inhumane” to take advantage of unemployed women and sexually abuse them while promising to give them jobs.
“It leaves women devastated and degraded and ripped of their dignity,” Webber told the community members.
“Women deserve fair access to jobs,” she said, “we will not sit back while women are exploited by perverted officials who abuse their positions of power and take advantage of women’s desperation for employment,” she said, adding the DA will always be there for women.
DA Women’s Network national leader Nomafrench Mbombo, who is also the health MEC in Western Cape, urged the KwaMhlanga residents to stop voting for ANC.
She said the ANC was responsible for policies that ensured unemployment and forced husbands to leave their homes and go work in Gauteng.
“It is women who carry the whole burden at the end of the day. Do you know why you are still the highest unemployed here in Mpumalanga? It’s because six months later when we come for votes you will receive food parcels and then vote for the same government, for the same party that gave you no job,” Mbombo said.
The police said they would investigate the issue of the child who was sent back without a case opened and were happy to work with the communities in responding to such issues as the lack of resources.
(edited by ZK)
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