Concerns over FCS units’ capacitation

SEKHUKHUNE – The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Limpopo says that Gender-Based Violence cases will continue to increase given the lack of man power and resources available to Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offenses (FCS) units in the province.

The DA said that in a response to written parliamentary questions, Police Minister Bheki Cele revealed that as of 30 December 2021, the FCS units in Limpopo have a collective case load of 6710.

According to the party the more than 6000 cases are currently being investigated by only 174 officers with only 88 vehicles at their disposal.

Susan Phala, DA Provincial Spokesperson for Transport and Community Safety, said that the latest crime statistics revealed that Thohoyandou, Seshego and Mankweng were among the country’s top 30 stations for rape and other sexual offenses and that Thohoyandou SAPS, which is ranked third nationally, only has 20 officers in its FCS unit.

Phala said the unit was investigating 1254 cases with only 9 vehicles at their disposal and that Minister Cele’s response also revealed that Mankweng SAPS, ranked 9th nationally, did not even have an FCS unit.

“It is abundantly clear that GBV is not being prioritized by SAPS in Limpopo and at national level. As long as the FCS units do not have adequate resources and he capacity to effectively investigate rapists as well as child and women abusers, they will continue to harm vulnerable groups in or communities,” said Phala.

She said the DA reiterated its call to Provincial Police Commissioner, Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe, to prioritise FCS units to ensure that those units had the capacity to successfully investigate sexual offenses, which were most perpetrated against women and children.

“Reported sexual offenses incidents in Limpopo remain inappropriately high, and we hope that Premier Chupu Mathabatha will break his silence on this during his State of the Province Address later.” Concluded Phala.

Thapelo Motseo

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