UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

MEDIA RELEASE

 

SELEBI MUST BE BROUGHT TO BOOK

STATEMENT ISSUED BY ANNELIZÉ VAN WYK, MP
UDM SPOKESPERSON ON SAFETY AND SECURITY

The statements made by National Police Commissioner, Jackie Selebi, regarding laws that are unenforceable needs to be clarified as a matter of urgency. Selebi, by implication, is condoning domestic violence. The UDM will immediately write a letter to the Chairperson of the Safety and Security Portfolio Committee, Mr Muleleki George, and request a meeting with Selebi. It is unacceptable that the highest official responsible for enforcing law in this country makes such statements.

The Domestic Violence Act was not grasped out of thin air. Domestic Violence is a reality, a painful one that affects the lives of women and children throughout the country. The fact that this abuse takes place inside the constraints of a private home does not reduce the seriousness of the crime.

Successfully implementing the Domestic Violence Act requires that SAPS personnel be trained to deal with the situation. It further requires that SAPS seeks partnerships with community organisations and the Department of Welfare to establish where places of safety are. There are places of safety - the question is whether each police station in South Africa is in possession of a list of such places in their area of responsibility? Looking at the attitude of the Commissioner this is doubtful.

Selebi's statement that many SAPS members are involved in domestic violence acts themselves is a serious reality - but one that he as head of SAPS should deal with. The strain and pressure that our policemen and women are under is well known. The fact that it manifests itself in domestic violence cannot simply be accepted.

It is ironic that Selebi should say that solving crime in SA requires 'going back to basics'. Is it possible that Commissioner Selebi is unaware that violence breeds violence?

Enquiries:
Annelizé van Wyk, MP
UDM Spokesperson on Safety and Security
082 - 557 4184

Cape Town
15 August 2001.