SAPS and Metro Police call for establishment of GBV unit

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The Tshwane Metro Police Department says it is prepared to arrest its own officers found to be engaged in gender-based violence. The department has acknowledged that some of its officers abuse their partners. This emerged during a GBV awareness march attended by various law enforcement personnel including the SAPS and Metro Police in Pretoria.

Law enforcement officials including the SAPS and Metro Police marched through the Pretoria CBD to raise awareness against gender-based violence.

Officials have called for the establishment of a GBV unit within the SAPS and Metro Police. They say as law enforcement officials they saw a need to lead by example by standing up against the murder, rapes and abuse of women and children.

City of Tshwane Community Safety MMC Grandi Theunissen says such an awareness campaign is geared towards teaching young boys that women should be treated with respect and care.

“There is no difference between male and female. We want to challenge the rest of the country to join hands with us, so that we can have a united stance against gender-based violence throughout the country with all the law enforcement authorities,” said Theunissen.

Tshwane Metro Police Commissioner Yolanda Faro says officers need to lead by example. She says they must ensure that women and children are being protected.

“We cannot have people in uniform who do the same. If you have a problem go seek help. Do not take out your frustrations on women. We also have females who abuse men. We want to say if you have a problem go seek assistance. To talk with your fist is not going to help,” added Faro.

Faro further added that, “We do agree that we have that phenomenon where the law enforcement officers are also the abusers, but we say today also we are prepared to arrest our own, because we are not going to allow that this is happening and continuing. That is a strong stance that we are taking.”

Chief of Emergency Services in the City of Tshwane Moshema Mosia says the reason for this march is to send a strong message that they are tired of the gender-based violence cases that are reported on a daily basis.

“Enough is enough. This country can no longer go on with this pandemic as declared by the president, that this is a pandemic and it needs to come to an end. And we want to send out that message very clear and make a clarion call to all civil society, to all community members to say that gender-based violence is a violation of rights. It cannot continue it must come to an end,” said Mosia.