10 August 2018

Parliament of South Afric

South Africa: Rhodes Student Leaders To Be Invited to Hearings

press release

RHODES STUDENT LEADERS TO BE INVITED TO HEARINGS ON 28 AND 28 AUGUST 2018 

The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Police, Mr Francois Beukman, said that Rhodes University student leaders will be invited to attend the Portfolio Committee on Police hearings on gender violence and the Domestic Violence Act on 28 and 29 August 2018 in Cape Town.

“The death of Kensani Maseko is indeed a wake-up call to the nation to deal with institutional inertia and a lack of action by the relevant authorities. It is essential that the student leadership of Rhodes University and related student role-players should attend the Portfolio Committee on Police hearings on gender violence and the implementation of the Domestic Violence Act on 28 and 29 August 2018,” Mr Beukman said.

The decision was taken in light of the need to hear all voices on the quality of action by law-enforcement agencies in dealing with gender-based violence complaints. The Portfolio Committee on Police has called on all organisations to give input on this important hearing in two weeks’ time.

The portfolio committee’s management committee decided in June 2018 to focus on the fight against gender-based violence and the role of government departments in the implementation of the Domestic Violence Act. The committee’s programme was published on the parliamentary website last week.

The first day of the hearings will focus on briefings from the Civilian Secretariat of Police and the management of the South African Police Service (Saps) on the implementation of the Domestic Violence Act. This will be followed by input from civil society. “We especially want input from students and the youth on day one,” Mr Beukman emphasised.

The second day of the hearings will focus on briefings from the South African Police Family Violence Crime Unit on crimes against women and children, and responses from the Congress of South African Trade Unions and other civil-society organisations. The portfolio committee believes that law enforcements agencies and government departments should step up their efforts to combat gender violence.

The committee has called on any civil-society organisation that wish to participate in the hearings to submit their details to the secretariat of the Portfolio Committee on Police.

Mr Beukman emphasised that that the portfolio committee expects that the National Commissioner of Police and his management team will respond with urgency to all gender violence matters reported at South African Police Service stations countrywide.

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