The South African Police Service (SAPS) hosted a motivational seminar for male officers to commemorate International Men's Day at the SAPS Academy Tshwane in Pretoria. International Men's Day is celebrated annually on November 19 and focuses on improving gender relations, promoting gender equality and producing responsible males.
With this year's theme being 'Positive Role Male Models', male officers from the ranks of Lieutenant General to Constable, met to reflect on their positive contributions and progress made by themselves not only in their workplace but also in their communities and households.
The seminar, initiated by the Men for Change forum in the Service, provided a platform for these male officers to robustly engage in issues that generally affect men in society.
Amongst the key issues that were discussed and addressed by various speakers include:
- Mental health
- Gender-based violence
- Substance abuse
- Sexual Harassment
- Crimes against women and children
During his keynote address, Lieutenant General Sindile Mfazi the Deputy National Commissioner for Management and Advisory Services, raised concern on the levels of violent crimes perpetrated by men against women and children.
"Nearly every day, we learn of shocking headlines of the abuse of women and children in the media. Gender-based violence and violating children's rights, are notoriously hard to measure as the maltreatment of children tends to be hidden and is rarely reported. However, there is ample evidence that violence against women and children, is pervasive in South Africa, and that in all communities, many girls and boys are routinely exposed to many forms of physical or mental violence, injury and abuse, negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse"
He further encouraged members to take a stand against wrongdoing and lead by example in becoming positive role models in society.
"As members of the SAPS, we must take decisive actions against this as we are mandated by section 205 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 to prevent, combat and investigate crime, uphold and enforce the law, maintain public order and protect and secure the inhabitants of South Africa. I urge every man present to take a stand against women and child abuse. Empower yourself and play your role, and with only that simple initiative, you will see the SAPS becoming a better organisation with men of excellence, who will play their rightful role in the fight against crime. We have powerful role models among us including the Minister of Police and the National Commissioner of the South African Police Service. Let us play our part". Concluded Lt Gen Mfazi - Deputy National Commissioner for Management and Advisory Services in the SAPS.