Speaker, on Sunday after our church service, a young lady with a one-month-old baby in her arms came to ask for prayer. She told my wife that she was raped by a young man visiting their neighbour. When she was asked whether she reported the matter to the police, she said that her mother advised her against reporting it because she was afraid that the rapist would come back to kill them after his release on bail.
Thousands of victims of rape in our country have similar stories to tell. They are afraid to open cases against their abusers, who always threaten to kill them if they report their crimes. As a result, and according to the Medical Research Council's latest report, only 1 in 25 women in Gauteng report rape, which is shameful.
Last year, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate informed the Portfolio Committee on Police that about 35% of the complaints they receive from the public are about the failure of the SA Police Service, SAPS, to arrest perpetrators of violence and abuse. Why should our people be told to report criminal activities when, in some cases, the police allegedly refuse to open cases? Why should they be told to blow the whistle on crime and corruption when the state fails to protect whistleblowers or apprehend perpetrators of crime?
In the Northern Cape a woman who asked for a lift home from a policeman, thinking she would arrive home safely, was raped by the same policeman, whom she trusted.
According to the Police Minister, in the financial year 2011-2012, 91 SAPS members were charged with rape. Where should our people go for help if they cannot turn to the police? When will these crimes committed by members of the SAPS come to an end?
The ACDP appeals to the Minister of Police urgently to deal with criminals who are hiding behind police uniforms, and to use all the available resources to prioritise restoring public confidence in the police before South Africa turns into a lawless republic. Thank you. [Applause.]