Bellville police speak out against abuse

SAPS spoke out against gender violence at a public meeting in the heart of Bellville on Monday, coinciding with the launch of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children Campaign.

Staff from Bellville police station and representatives from neighbourhood watches and the Department of Correctional Services attend the meeting opposite the Middestad Mall.

Bellville police station clerk Kwanele Mfecane urged men to stand up against gender violence.

In 2004, Mr Mfecane and other male members of the Bellville police station started Men For Change to support women and children suffering from abuse.

“We are here to tell people that we will not tolerate this type of violence in our community,” he said. “In Xhosa, my name translates to ‘that is enough’, and that is the motto of our group, we have had enough.”

Station commander Brigadier Phindile Ntungele said: “I am so proud that so many people in our community can stand together for a cause like this but I am also saddened by the fact that these campaigns must happen… We need more assistance from the Department of Justice so that we can address the perpetrators of these crimes. So many times, the police here do good work to arrest these criminals only for the perpetrators to escape further punishment in the court. This needs to stop.”

Constable Ayanda Dada, an investigating officer for the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit, said Bellville police station had support rooms for abuse victims.

“For the children, we have board games and books to try to calm them down and get them to speak freely with us, while, for women, we have a group of volunteers who speak to them because at times it is easier for them to speak to a normal person instead of somebody in a uniform.”

The campaign continues with a pamphlet handout in the Bellville CBD on Tuesday December 1, and on Monday December 7, a motorcade will make its way through Bellville.

The final event will take place on Thursday December 10 with another public meeting opposite Middestad Mall.