Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
18 Aug 2021
10:55 am

Gender commission wants sexual-offences courts that Ramaphosa promised

Citizen Reporter

The CGE says there are warning signs that our country’s response to gender-based violence is falling short.

Picture: iStock

The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) has called on government to speed up the opening of designated sexual offences courts across the country to speedily prosecute crimes against women.

This follows President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement in June that 32 regional courts were ready to be designated as sexual offences courts.

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The CGE on Tuesday said this would open the much-needed access to justice for women and girls who continue to suffer under the gender-based violence (GBV) scourge in South Africa.

“There are warning signs that our country’s response to gender-based violence is falling short, and this is of great concern to the commission, which has been mandated by the Constitution of the country, to monitor equal enforcement of gender-based laws for the protection of all citizens, amongst other responsibilities,” CGE spokesperson Javu Baloyi said in a statement.

Thuthuzela Care Centres

The commission’s chairperson Tamara Mathebula called for government to open the additional six Thuthuzela Care Centres to provide safety and shelter for women who want to escape threats and cycles of abuse in their families and communities.

She said the commitment was also announced by the president in June in his response to questions in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP).

“We are also calling on the NCOP to speedily process two bills that are critical in tightening the country’s laws against perpetrators of GBV, the Sexual Offences and Related Matters Amendment Bill and Domestic Violence Amendment Bill, that were passed by the National Assembly,” Mathebula said.

The CGE urged women who weren’t finding satisfaction in their efforts to get justice against GBV perpetrators to call its toll-free number on 0800-007-709 in order to lodge complaints with its legal officers.

“Alternatively, victims and survivors can send a Please Call message to 1207867#. This call is also extended to all other people who are being abused or discriminated against based on their gender or sexual orientation.”

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