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Police say Eastern Cape rape victims not being denied justice due to rape/DNA kits shortage

Sep 15, 2018
Police say Eastern Cape rape victims not being denied justice due to rape/DNA kits shortage

The Office of the Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service (SAPS) in the Eastern Cape on Friday denied allegations that victims of rape in the Eastern Cape were being denied justice because of a dire shortage of rape or DNA collection kits in the province.

According to the Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Eastern Capewhile responding to a parliamentary question to MEC for Safety, Ms. Weziwe Tikana, confirmed that the province did not have a single rape kit for the 2018/19 financial year. 

"The Provincial Commissioner views this matter as extremely sensitive and as such would not like to use the media as the platform to debate it, because it carries the potential to violate the right of the very victims of sexual offences and their relatives," said police spokesperson, Colonel Michelle Matroos.

"This office would like to assure all communities of the Eastern Cape and in particular the victims of the alleged crime, that they cannot and will never be denied justice as alleged in the media.

"Perpetrators of crime will never be allowed to roam the streets when they have been identified to have committed such crimes. This is irrespective of the reasons and any circumstance including the shortages of crime kits."

Col Matroos added that whilst the South African Police Service may from time to time experience shortages of the rape and DNA collection kits, the victims of crime have never gone without the necessary care and use of these kits.

"Therefore, any suggestion that people of the Eastern Cape are being betrayed is an exaggerated version of events. There is absolutely no crisis of huge proportions and the SAPS is not under resourced as alleged. Its personnel are well trained and capable of dealing with all sexually related crimes and others," she said.

She further said that her office does not want to be drawn into a public debate about the alleged incorrect information provided to the MEC for Transport, Safety and Liaison Ms Tikana, it is however conducting an internal investigation and is in contact with the MEC’s office regarding the matter.

“My office would like to re-assure the people of the Eastern Cape that while the process of procurement is pursued, service delivery will not be compromised and therefore the situation is under control,” said Eastern Cape police provincial commissioner Lieutenant-General Liziwe Ntshinga.