Witness Reporter
2 minute read
2 Aug 2022
06:50

Our Viewpoint | Krugersdorp horror

Witness Reporter

Cele’s assurances are always too late for the many victims of rape who continue to be failed by government and societal leaders at every turn

On the eve of women’s month, South Africans were once again left reeling in shock after learning about the horrific Krugersdorp gang rapes.

Locals allege that this was one of many incidents of rape that women of Krugersdorp have suffered over the years.

This has seen the police once again being slammed for incompetence when dealing with gender-based violence cases.

Police minister Bheki Cele rushed to the mining town and rightfully described it as the “shame of a nation”.

ALSO READ | Bheki Cele concedes that police alone cannot deal with violent crimes in SA

However, his familiar promise of, “no stone will be left unturn”, in bringing the culprits to book no longer brings comfort to South Africans, who are terrorised by criminals in every part of the country, because it is often left unfulfilled.

Cele’s assurances are always too late for the many victims of rape who continue to be failed by government and societal leaders at every turn.

While it’s good that the DNA results for the Krugersdorp rapes will be expedited, dozens of other victims of sexual violence, whose cases didn’t make prime-time news, have been denied justice for years as a result of the backlog at the Forensic Science Laboratories.

These cases include children who are unable to testify against their rapists and other victims of gang rapes.

Women’s rights activists have repeatedly warned government that some of the perpetrators, who haven’t been convicted due to the absence of DNA results, could be committing other rapes, while Cele and President Cyril Ramaphosa continue to act as if the backlog at the Forensic Science Laboratories is not a national crisis.

Next week, the same government leaders will address Women’s Day commemorative events where they will pat themselves on the back for what they have done in championing the rights of women.

Their deliberate ignorance of the plight of women will remain a stain on this country’s history for decades to come as dozens of lives continue to be lost needlessly to gender-based violence every single day.