Horror GBV Easter weekend for KZN: Justice must be swift and harsh

Issued by Mmabatho Tembe, MPL – DA KZN Spokesperson on Social Development
02 Apr 2024 in Press Statements

The killing of a pregnant eThekwini Metro Police officer – stabbed by her partner, also a law enforcement officer – along with the brutal beating of a woman allegedly by her partner, a Hammarsdale SAPS officer, are horrific indications of how far KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) still has to go in terms of eradicating Gender-Based Violence (GBV).

Both incidents, which took place over the Easter weekend, have since gone viral. Disturbingly, in the first incident, the perpetrator posted a video of the gruesome act on social media. He has since been arrested and is due to appear in court today.

Both women have been failed by the very people who are supposed to protect them and others from the ongoing scourge of GBV. In both cases, justice must be swift and harsh.

The reality is that no one is safe in our province. Promises by Premier, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, that citizens would receive panic buttons, connected to SAPS stations ring hollow. As do assurances that SAPS officers will receive training on how to deal with GBV, along with increased psychological evaluation in a province plagued by violence.

Last month, while the rest of the world celebrated International Women’s Day, four women were murdered and 66 were violently assaulted in South Africa.

The information formed part of a report submitted to the national Portfolio Committee on Police – of which the DA is a member. Shockingly, the same report also exposed that between April and September last year, 165 SAPS members were identified as alleged perpetrators of domestic violence themselves.

These two young women – along with countless others – have been severely failed by a system that is supposed to protect them. The victim blaming comments posted online further highlight that society has a long way to go in terms of eradicating damaging views.

The DA has long advocated a whole-of-society approach to GBV. Regrettably, our appeals have been ignored, in the absence of any real initiatives from government. The ongoing failure to properly fund NGOs that support GBV victims is also compounding an already horrific situation, leaving many with nowhere to turn.

On 29 May, the people of KZN will have the opportunity to rescue our province and install new government – one that prioritises the safety and protection of its citizens.