Deputy Police Minister Bongani Mkhongi says he supports calls for the decriminalisation of sex work in South Africa, while responding to questions from sex workers at the 22nd International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

Mkhongi says police no longer want to arrest sex workers but are forced to by law.

Sex workers have accused the police of harassing and arresting them in South Africa. They want sex work to be recognised and legalised in the country.

Mkhongi says police have raised the issue of decriminalising sex work in Parliament.

He says, “South Africa has lots of crime, very heavy crime, rather than us raiding people and taking condoms as evidence to court. We are tired of this thing, so we must change the law. And the President, who was deputy president then, we’ve raised this issue with him.

“So the decriminalisation of sex work is a serious matter for us as police because we must focus into cash in transit heists, so we are going to deal with that, that is our commitment,” added Mkhongi.