Perpetrators of violence against women and children who would be brought to book during the Festive Season are likely to spend four months behind bars without the option of bail until a court appearance date which would only be set for April.
This is according to Polokwane Police Cluster Commander Sam Mokgonyana during his address at Capricorn District Municipality’s (CDM) 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children campaign in Moletjie Moshate on Friday. Mokgonyana said the Police intend to deal harshly with culprits of abuse and reiterated that those who will be arrested in December can expect to appear before court in April. He further said they have been supporting the campaign since its commencement on 25 November but stressed that crimes of abuse should not be dealt with only during this period but every day. Mokgonyana further pleaded with men who are victims of abuse to speak up and seek assistance to avoid dying in silence.
CDM acting Mayor Nakedi Lekganyane emphasised that each district, province and country has its different story to tell about issues of gender based violence. She further stressed that they were worried that Limpopo was among the top provinces that account for the highest rate of violence. She added that it was of great concern that 80% of abuse occurs in the homes, especially in rural communities and most of the cases go unreported.
Lekganyane was pleased that men also came out in numbers to support the gathering as she mentioned that “We are pleased that men came to reaffirm their commitment to stay vigilant against gender-based violence that continues to be order of the day in our communities and in our homes. Our district has spoken, let us expose and isolate abusers because they are thorns, wolves and a disgrace to all men. We, as the district, carry the biggest burden in terms of the responsibility to ensure sustainable and efficient delivery to all communities and bridge the gap between the fortunate and the poor, including vulnerable groups such as women and children. But such efforts are undermined by gender-based violence and other social imperfections.”
Lekganyane indicated that if CDM has achieved anything for its people, it is because of the work their womenfolk and residents rising up to the challenge of making the district a home of excellence and better opportunities.
She pleaded with attendees to not turn a blind eye when they encounter a seemingly minor incident of gender abuse.
CDM Mayor John Mpe was also at the venue in the morning to address Moletjie headmen as the royal house council goes on recess. He, however, had to leave early to attend to other commitments.
Mpe was expected to hand over toys to children and blankets to elders but this exercise was postponed to a later date due to his unavailability, it was learnt.
Story: ENDY SENYATSI