The Democratic Alliance (DA) welcomes the announcement by the South African Police Service (SAPS) that a supplier for rape kits has finally been appointed after the previous tender was cancelled in 2017 due to alleged corruption.
The delays in awarding a tender resulted in critical shortages in rape kits across the country.
Last week the DA revealed that 76% of SA police stations did not have adult rape kits and 69% of stations do not have child rape kits in stock. The DA wrote to Police Minister Bheki Cele, to give him a deadline by which to ensure that all police stations had rape kits.
The shortage of rape kits has been a gross injustice to rape survivors. Without these kits, evidence in reported rape cases cannot be collected. Without evidence, the ability to successfully prosecute rapists diminishes drastically.
Because of alleged corruption between the supplier of the kits and some police officers, rapists went unpunished for the heinous crimes against women and children.
This issue has to do with the lives and dignity of the women and children of our country. The current figures indicate that SAPS has run short of over 128 000 rape kits, with only around 18 000 adult rape kits in circulation in SA.
No one deserves to become a victim of sexual violence and everything possible must be done to eradicate this evil from society. A fundamental part of holding perpetrators to account is gathering the necessary evidence to convict them of these crimes.
The DA will now closely monitor the distribution of these kits and ensure that SAPS’ logistics operation delivers rape kits to every station in the country
We will continue to fight that those who commit heinous crimes against the most vulnerable members and our society are prosecuted to the full extent of the law. This country cannot continue to be a danger zone for women and children.