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OPINION | Pockets of excellence but also gaps in our country's police stations in dealing with GBV

South African women and the girl children are under siege, and their right to freedom, safety and security remains an implausible dream. Women continue to live in fear both at home and in their communities.

It's a sad tale that South Africa is faced with profound inequalities and high levels of gender-based violence. These challenges cut across race, age, and historical background. It is well known that gender-based violence (GBV) is a scourge in South Africa, leading to President Cyril Ramaphosa declaring it a second pandemic in 2020. Prior to this declaration, a 2015 report by Tswaranang Legal Advocacy Centre (2015) in Gauteng noted that in relation to GBVF, "justice is an aspiration" but not a reality for the women of South Africa. These human atrocities have taken from women the freedom of choice, movement, and association.

As part of our constitutional mandate and restorative justice, the monitored police stations were expected to provide evidence and availability of evidence collection kits.

It's worth noting that some police stations do not have the DB kits commonly known as the DNA reference sample collection kit. DNA kits are a vital element for law enforcement in investigating and prosecuting crimes of sexual violence. The SAPS need to have a hands-on deck in ensuring consistency and justice for survivors and victims of GBVF.

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