Remarks by the Deputy Minister of Police Ms Makhotso Maggie Sotyu, MP at the Closure of SAPS 16 Days of Activism of No Violence against Women and Children & Handing out of Stationery Hampers to the Children of SAPS Members who died in line of duty, Orange Farms
12 Dec 2011
All Children of SAPS Members who died in line of Duty
COO of NATCOM: Lt. Gen Mgwenya
All Divisional Commissioners and Deputies present
Chairperson of SAPS Education Trust, Father Mkatshwa
All Representatives of Sponsors: Microsoft, MassMart
Our Religious and Traditional Leaders present
Our Men and Women in Blue
Youth and Children
Ladies and Gentlemen
A wisdom goes as saying: “a society that does not care about the well-being of its children is a society without a future”! As Government, and as Police Leadership, in collaboration with our Business Sector, such as Microsoft and MassMart/Walmart, we are surely today proving that we are indeed resonating in these wise words.
For, our President, Jacob Zuma, did found resonance in these words when he announced on 4th September 2011 that, an Education Trust will be established to provide financial assistance to the education costs of children of SAPS members that die in the execution of official duties.
Under the guidance of our Chairperson of this Trust, Father Smangaliso Mkhatshwa, this Education Trust has now been legitimately and legally registered with the Master of the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.
Our Business sector indeed, such as Microsoft, MassMart/Walmart, also understood that the message of these words, in saying: to develop a country and indeed its children, cannot be a sole mandate of the Government. But, as citizens, organisations, companies all have a role to play in empowering our children through quality education.
That is why we are saying thank you Microsoft for partnering with the Department of Police to establish a technology academy at the Tshwane Police Academy, and to help our Police and Detectives in particular, in developing their skills in the Information Technology.
This will surely go a long way in efficiently and effectively solving and cracking sophisticated crimes such as cybercrimes and organised crimes.
We also acknowledge Massmart/Walmart for helping the children of our fallen heroes and heroines in Blue, by issuing 3500 stationery hampers towards their school stationery needs.
We have also learnt that Massmart/Walmart will be awarding a four year Bachelor of Commerce bursary to five female students whose parents were killed in line of duty.
Thank you Massmart/Walmart for acknowledging to the fact that there are still not enough qualified women, especially African women, to fill in the scarce skill positions such as finance, specialised medicine, engineering and technology.
As Government, we whole heartedly welcome these efforts to provide opportunities to our children and youth for educational empowerment and career advancement.
Most importantly, though, without the involvement of parents and families, the Government-Business endeavours and efforts to empower our children through education and develop our country, will be futile.
For, it is in this sphere of community, that the child is either provided or not provided the fundamental safety and nurturing environment that enable the child to grow into a healthy, self-sufficient and confident adult.
Sadly though, nowadays we constantly witness and hear family members, relatives, and people familiar to the family, account for most cases of horrific child abuses. The recent past murders of children have been perpetuated by those known by or familiar to the child.
The message to you parents, relatives and family friends of these children, please, revive our fundamental value of saying: “my child is your child”, and “a child is raised by the whole village”.
Please, stop abusing your children, and instead begin to help them to grow up safe, sound and secured both emotionally and physically.
We want you parents, relatives, and family friends to be part of the project that will help all the children and youth of South Africa to acquire quality life-skills so that this country of ours could one day be counted as one of the best places in the world for a child or youth to enjoy its childhood or a young person to enjoy being a youth.
We also plead with the communities to stop harbouring criminals amongst their midst. Please, work together with Police this festive season, to reduce crime. Please, do acknowledge the fact that as you go about your business of leisure and holidaying by the beach; our men and women in blue are not holidaying. They are working to make sure that your holidays are joyful and crime-free.
In the briefing I got this morning from the Sebokeng Cluster Commander, it has been highlighted that the rape statistics in this Cluster are a big concern.
According to the statistics, every day in Sebokeng, 10 women are being raped, and by people close or known to them. And most of these rape cases are alcohol related, perpetrated during weekends, and tend to be withdrawn by victims the next Monday.
We thus urge those women who withdraw cases of assault or alleged rape by their partners/boyfriends, to stop this tendency as it wastes Government resources.
Perhaps, as SAPS Leadership we need to consider a legislation review to include ill-advised withdrawals of rape cases by victims themselves, as unlawful. Of course, the legislation must make sure that, in cases of forced by intimidation withdrawals, the additional charge of intimidation is laid against the perpetrator.
In conclusion, I would like to remind the diligent organisers of this ceremony that, we can no longer say: “we are closing the 16 Days of Activism”! This can’t be, for this activism is not an event, it is a continuous process of activism for 365 days against abuse of women and children.
Child molesters and abusers do not rest for a certain period to do their hineous crimes. So, as Government, we will also not wait until the 25th November of each year to highlight the plight of our children and women folk.
We promise to mainstream the issues of women and children in each month of the year. If it is Police day in January 2012, we then need to highlight the matters affecting our police women. If it is Human Rights Day in March 2012, we must raise the issue of women’s and children’s rights vehemently. And so it must be for all the months of 2012.
I am also urging Lt. General Nchwe to look at the policy of "police officers killed in line of duty". Police officers who are officially off-duty, do find themselves at most times, responding to crime scenes, as they are obligated by their Constitutional oath. So, as Police Management we need to take cognisance of this fact, and to be wary of excluding deserving officers who died protecting citizens whether these police officers were on duty or on leave.
On behalf of the Police Leadership, we also wish to acknowledge that, with all these efforts of support to the children of our fallen heros and heroines in Blue, they can never truly suffice. But together with our Business partners, this is the least we can do to repay the service of your loved ones who died protecting the democracy and constitution of this country.
I thank you all.
Issued by: South African Police Service
12 Dec 2011
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