In another worrying statistic in the fight against gender-based violence, it’s been revealed that 89 GBV cases have been struck off the court roll in just six months in the Western Cape.

These cases were struck off largely due to police inefficiencies.

Police Oversight and Community Safety MEC, Reagen Allen, says 34 cases were withdrawn because the dockets were not at court.

The courts that were monitored are located in Khayelitsha, Athlone, Wynberg, Mitchells Plain, Bellville, Blue Downs, Philippi, Kuilsriver, Atlantis, Paarl, Mossel Bay, Oudtshoorn, Thembalethu (George), Laingsburg, George, Knysna and Beaufort West.

The Court Watching Briefs Unit is an initiative of the department to enhance its ability to perform oversight of the SAPS as mandated by Section 206(3) of the Constitution. Both reports have been shared with the SAPS.

Allen says he’ll be engaging with the Provincial Police Commissioner, Lieutenant General Thembisile Patekile, as well as the Director of Public Prosecutions, to talk about what needs to be improved to ensure that these results are not repeated.

Allen says SAPS and the justice system are failing the victims of GBV and femicide in the province.

“These grim statistics leave a bitter taste in my mouth. The continued GBV that is plaguing our society must come to an immediate end. The way SAPS, and by extension the entire criminal justice system, is failing these individuals, often amongst the most vulnerable in our communities, will never be acceptable. It is further concerning that these are just the cases we have monitored and might not paint a full picture of the reality. The criminal justice system has to do better”‘.

Picture: Katrin Bolovtsova (Pexels)