Violent abuse victims urged to report unresponsive state organs
Deputy Public Protector Adv Mamiki Shai has called on victims of violent abuse struggling to get justice due to unresponsive organs of state to report the conduct of such institutions to the Public Protector.
Addressing the community of Acornhoek in Mpumalanga during the commemoration of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children, Adv Shai said the Public Protector has the power to see to it that victims eventually get justice.
“While the Public Protector does not deal directly with cases of violence, we will step in when competent organs of state fail to give you the assistance they ought to provide or when they carry out their functions in a manner that prejudices you,” she said.
Adv Shai said the Public Protector was brought to Acornhoek due to the high prevalence of violence against women and children reported in the area.
According to information provided by the South African Police Service, 85 cases of rape, 19 of which involved children, had been reported in the area over the past eight months.
A further 116 cases of assault with an intent to cause grievous bodily harm, in which women and children were victims, were reported during the same period. In addition, 41 cases of common assault on women and children were reported.
Illustrating the importance of reporting prejudicial conduct of the state to the Public Protector, Adv Shai cited a case where the Public Protector, last week, called for the financial compensation of a 24-year-old rape victim failed by the justice system.
The woman, who was raped by two men when she was 14 years of age, suffered delayed justice after her court case was postponed 48 times and dragged for eight years. Over and above the compensation, the Public Protector urged the SAPS and the National Prosecuting Authority to issue a letter of apology to the victim, among other things.
“It is important for competent organs of state to take cases such as this seriously and treat them with the sensitivity they deserve so as to ensure public confidence in the ability of such institutions to deliver quality services,” Adv Shai said, adding that some cases go unreported due to lack of confidence in the state to help.
Manager: Outreach, Education and Communication
Public Protector South Africa
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