WCPO agrees to investigate secondary victimization
The Minister of Community Safety, Albert Fritz, welcomes the Western Cape Police Ombudsman (WCPO), Mr JJ Brand's investigation into cases of secondary victimization (SV). On Thursday 2 July, Minister Fritz wrote to the WCPO requesting that his office investigate two instances SV reported at SAPS stations in Site B, Khayelitsha, and Langa.
Minister Fritz said, "In both instances, the victims had approached SAPS after allegedly being raped. In the first instance, the victim was told to 'return the next day and not to bath”. In the second instance, the victim and her mother were reportedly pepper sprayed by police and only attended to the following day by a police officer who was called out from another station."
In the WCPO's letter it was stated that, "Complaints were registered for both... the allegations deemed to fall within our mandate... My office intends consulting with the victims of the incidents first to verify whether they indeed want to pursue with complaints of alleged inefficiencies against SAPS."
Additionally, the WCPO stated that both cases of alleged SV "would be included in our current investigation of the alleged failure of SAPS to provide sufficient victim support to victims of crime at the police stations in the WC."
Minister Fritz said, "While I have previously welcomed the Provincial Commissioner's swift disciplinary action against the case of SV in Khayelitsha, we need to send a strong message to SAPS that gender based violence must be urgently attended to whilst ensuring the dignity of the victim is respected. It is completely unacceptable that victims endure a secondary assault from SAPS when seeking justice."
Minister Fritz continued, "I welcome the investigation by the WCPO. It is essential that we challenge SV to ensure that women feel safe and empowered to report GBV. I look forward to receiving further information from the WCPO's office."
Please see English audio clip here: https://clyp.it/ikjmhqsa