Not In My Name International applauds Public Protector’s report on GBV-related administrative deficiencies

#NotInMyName welcomes the report by the Office of the Public Protector on the investigation into administrative deficiencies within the South African criminal justice system concerning gender-based violence (GBV) cases.

This comprehensive report highlights significant issues that hinder justice and protection for GBV victims. We commend the Public Protector for this critical work, as the findings and recommendations align with our ongoing advocacy for systemic reforms to better protect and support GBV victims and survivors.

Key Findings and Recommendations: Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (DoJ&CD):

Inadequate Infrastructure and Resources:

The report reveals the poor state of court buildings, insufficient office equipment, and the lack of a fully functional Integrated Case Management System (ICMS). We urge immediate infrastructure audits, renovations, and the development of standards for model courts.-

Human Resource Constraints:

The absence of GBV-specialized staff and inconsistencies in processing protection orders need urgent attention. We support the Public Protector’s call for a comprehensive human resource needs analysis and strategic hiring plan.

Improper Filing Systems and Delays:

The poor filing systems and resulting case processing delays must be addressed. We advocate for the rapid modernization of record-keeping practices as outlined in the report.

Language and Accessibility:

Multilingual communication materials and simplified forms are crucial. Implementing these changes will enhance access to justice for all victims, regardless of their linguistic background.

South African Police Service (SAPS):

Victim-Friendly Facilities:

The report’s finding that many police stations lack Victim-Friendly Rooms (VFRs) is deeply concerning. We support the directive for a thorough needs analysis and the establishment of VFRs in all police stations.

Training and Capacity Building:

Continuous training on GBV sensitivity and legislation is essential for SAPS members. We endorse the recommendation for regular, comprehensive training programs.

Effective Response and Collaboration:

SAPS must improve their response times and collaboration with the Department of Social Development (DSD) to ensure comprehensive support for GBV victims. Developing a collaborative plan is a necessary step forward.

Department of Social Development (DSD):

Shelter and Support Services:

The shortage of shelters and inadequate human resource capacity within the DSD’s GBV support programs are pressing issues. We fully support the call for a detailed project plan to expand shelter availability and enhance support services.

Integrated Data Management:

Implementing an integrated electronic data management system for GBV cases will foster a multisectoral approach, improving service delivery and coordination among agencies.

Commitment to Action:

As a civil rights organization dedicated to combating GBV, we commit to:

Advocacy and Monitoring:

Actively monitoring the implementation of the Public Protector’s recommendations and advocating for accountability from the relevant departments.

Community Support and Education:

Enhancing our support services and educational programs to empower GBV victims and raise awareness about their rights and available resources.

Collaborative Efforts:

Working closely with governmental and non-governmental organizations to ensure a unified, effective response to GBV. We call on all stakeholders to take immediate action to address the deficiencies outlined in the report. The safety, dignity and rights of GBV victims must be prioritized through these essential reforms.

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