Minister Cele, nobody is lucky to be raped

Issued by Andrew Whitfield MP – DA Shadow Minister of Police
18 Aug 2022 in News

The following speech was delivered by Andrew Whitfield at the launch of the DA’s #CeleMustGo billboard in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.

Minister Cele, nobody is lucky to be raped.

Every time a woman, a child or a man is raped in our country we lose a part of our soul as a nation. It rips at our heartstrings, tears away at our delicate social fabric and exposes the failures of our state and our society in the most graphic and devastating way.

Not a single South African of the 153 that are raped every single day are lucky and none of those that escape rape are lucky to have even been in a situation where they could have been raped.

The words lucky and raped should never EVER exist in the same sentence.

Our women and children deserve to live a life free from fear and secure in the knowledge that there is a criminal justice system that will secure convictions for these violent criminals who hold innocent South Africans hostage as prisoners in their own homes and neighbourhoods.

The unimaginable trauma that these 8 women who were gang raped in Krugersdorp were forced to endure should give all of us sleepless nights. The 153 people that are raped every day and the countless others who are raped but never open a case because they’ve given up on the police, should haunt our dreams.

The reality is that while the causes of crime in our country are many, the South African police service has been found wanting. SAPS has not escaped the ravages of state capture and is collapsing under the weight of its centralised bureaucracy of highly paid senior managers. It has lost touch with the purpose of policing and has lost sight of its mission to serve and protect.

While there are thousands of excellent police officers in the ranks they deserve better than a Minister who embarrasses them on a daily basis with his reckless comments.

They deserve better than a top heavy management bureaucracy that keeps their broken SAPS vehicles in the workshops for up to 200 days because of red tape.

They deserve better training, more resources and more decision making power at a local level so they can respond to challenges in real time.

It is time for the Minister to admit that he must explore the possibility of a more decentralised police service which brings policing to the people!!

The DA is fighting to bring policing to the people because the current system is failing!

We are fighting every single day to expose the injustices committed by a failing state against its citizens and we are fighting tirelessly for a better, safer future under a capable state.

In 2019 when the DA exposed the critical shortage of rape kits at police stations across the country we knew we had just scratched the surface of this uncaring, callous government.

When we exposed the horrific state of the DNA backlog we knew that this would be a long fight for justice and freedom for the victims of violent crime and their families.

And when we exposed that the DNA amendment bill had been sitting in cabinet since 2017 we fought relentlessly to force the Minister to bring it to parliament and it will soon be on its way to the Presidents desk.

We are fighting for South Africa because South Africa deserves better.

It is a fight we are determined to win.

It is a fight we WILL win!