16/03/2013 – ACDP FCOP Media Release

16 March 2013

ACDP National (FCOP)

Press Release

 

This press release eminated out of discussions and motions brought forward at the ACDP’s Federal Council Of Provinces meeting held in Pretoria on 15-16 March 2013.

 

Media release by Rev. Kenneth Meshoe, ACDP President after the ACDP Federal Council Meeting

 

ACDP President Kenneth Meshoe addresses the FCOP


Firstly, the ACDP would like to send its heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Mandy Rossouw. She was one of South Africa’s finest journalists and we will all miss her input into the body politic of South Africa.

  • ACDP says rape is a men’s issue
  • ANC presided over 10 years of aids denialism and is now presiding over a holocaust of abuse

The ACDP discussed strategies to address Sexual Violence in South Africa, where rape has the highest incidence in the world. The ACDP recognized that rape was mostly being perpetrated by men under the age of 30 and that interventions need to be especially targeted at the youth, otherwise our rape statistics in 20 years time will make today’s pandemic look good.

Although we know the facts about how serious the issue of rape is, we need to prioritize large-scale government funded research into cultural, social, legal and economic factors driving rape. During the TRC we heard from those who perpetrated crimes against humanity, and it is time that rape was recognized as a crime against humanity. With an average of around 60 000 rapes a year we cannot just make nice speeches; we have to take ACTION. We need to understand why men rape.

The ACDP is concerned that young men become sexually aware at a young age, through peers, the school syllabus and pornography, particularly on cellphones and that men’s attitudes towards women are derived through these sources, coupled with the high levels of violence in South Africa, and lack of privacy in homes.

Sexual crimes have become entrenched in our society and we need a strategy to entrench gender equality in both women and men. The fact that 30% of young girls report being raped at school and that the drop out rate for pregnant young girls aged 12 and under in grades 3-6 was reported as 2 062 in the 2010/11 period means that programs need to be incorporated into the school syllabus that not only teach our boys how to treat women. Girls also need to be taught respect for themselves and be encouraged to seek help. We need to change men’s attitudes, in a targeted approach using prominent South African men. Currently, we have sports stars who have had charges laid against them for rape and intimate partner violence. The good men in our rugby, cricket, soccer and other national teams need to speak out and show that masculinity does not mean entitlement. We need to flip gender in-equality on its head. Our women must not be seen or portrayed as possessions and objects.

The ACDP also queried the conviction rates referred to as between 70 and 73% by the President of South Africa in his State of the Nation Address; this figure is at best misinformation and at worst deliberately misleading. Police statistics on sexual crime include sexual crimes as a whole (including flashing, prostitution, voyeurism etc.). The 383 life sentences quoted by the President cannot possibly relate to the average annual reported rape statistic of around 60 000 (or 56 272 in the preceding 2010/11 period).

The fact that NGOs with hands-on experience estimate that 90% of rapes go unreported, and most experts estimate only a 10% conviction rate means that government interventions also need to target social barriers to reporting. We need to have confidence in the police and the justice system.

The bottom line is that the ACDP maintains its stance that rape is every citizen’s issue, not just a women’s issue.

The ACDP also identified that dedicated police units need better training in response, forensic procedures, how to deal with cases, knowledge of the justice system, victims rights and attitudes in rural areas. Too many women are being turned away from our police stations because of officers who have wrong attitudes. A recent rape report in Daveyton revealed the still shocking treatment of women who report. This victim was called a slut by the very police officers who were supposed to assist her and without the intervention of the ACDP this case would have been with drawn. The police need education in gender equality.

To support these police units, the ACDP also calls for specialized courts dealing solely with rape and sexual abuse, as well as separate statistics on rape, and sexual abuse of children, as well as an answer on when adequate rape kits will be available, and that enough rape kits should be lodged with the district surgeons and the police stations. It is unacceptable that evidence is being compromised because of expired kits, or the use of paediatric kits in adult cases. In light of this and reports from hospitals that rape kits are sometimes not collected for more than 2 years, the ACDP also calls for the monitoring and enforcement of the time frames for collection and delivery of evidence from hospitals to labs, to ensure higher conviction rates.

We require large-scale women’s empowerment, including economic empowerment to entrench gender equality as well as targeted interventions in schools, in prisons, and community centers, aimed at young boys attitudes towards women. Interventions in schools to identify victims of abuse and empower and educate young girls on their rights. It is utterly shocking that out of 289 complaints of teachers sexually abusing their students only 136 cases have been finalized. Only 67 have been struck off the roll and 62 are still teaching we would like to know how many have been reported to the police. The ACDP also calls for easy access to psychological services for every victim of sexual violence with a dedicated and trained councilor in every school to deal specifically with rape and sexual abuse as well as attitudes.

The ACDP also called on the Department of Correctional Services to keep adequate resources and institute a programme to advise victims of sexual crimes of the release of their attacker.

The number of cases of cell-phone recorded rapes going viral and being reported in the media also highlights the need for stricter laws to control access by minors to pornography on cell phones and the Internet.

Just as the ANC presided over a decade of AIDS denialism they are now presiding over a holocaust of abuse on women and children.

 

  • “No clean audits in 10 years time “says ACDP President
  • Why didn’t Freestate just buy their own IT company

 

Only about one-fifth of all government institutions pass the grades set by the Auditor-General and it is getting worse every year! At this rate there will be no clean audits in ten year’s time and absolutely no money for textbooks – let alone their delivery – only websites! Why did the Free State not just buy an IT company – it would have been cheaper!

The ACDP is extremely concerned about the high levels of wasteful, irregular and corrupt expenditure by government departments, as highlighted by the recent Auditor-General’s report.

During his Budget speech on 27 February, the Minister of Finance indicated the difficulty of addressing procurement challenges and combating corruption. He indicated that it was “a difficult task with too many points of resistance”, and that “there are also too many people who have a stake in keeping the system the way it is.“

The appointment of the Chief Procurement Officer to scrutinize state procurement contracts, ensure fair value prices for goods and services delivered to the state, and to pilot procurement transformation programs in the Department of Health and Public Works, nationally and in provinces, is to be welcomed.

It is disgraceful that National Treasury is having to scrutinize contracts worth R8.4 billion which it believes have infringed the procurement rules, while SARS is scrutinizing contracts estimated at over R10 Billion.

It is absolutely vital that officials and close relatives be prohibited from doing business with government, and we commend Minister Sisulu’s call in this regard. However this has been a discussion point for at least 5 years. The Public Finance Management Act must be aligned with the Public Service Act to ensure this ban is effected. It must not take another 5 years.

We also believe that special measures should be taken to oversee the accounts of what has worldwide become known as “politically exposed persons” – public representatives and senior officials. We welcome the steps by the Financial Intelligence Centre in exploring how South Africa might be brought into line with international anti-corruption and anti-money laundering standards.

It is clear that internal auditing in government departments is deficient, given the Auditor-General’s report. Internal auditing needs to be improved to ensure that irregular, wasteful and corrupt expenditure is detected at a far earlier stage to ensure that remedial action can be taken.

The ACDP also believes that it is high time that accounting officers, such as the Director-General are held accountable in terms of the Public Finance Management Act. The act makes provision for an accounting officer to be charged yet not one has ever been prosecuted. This would send a strong message that wasteful, irregular and corrupt expenditure will no longer be tolerated.

Regrettably, it seems that government lacks the political will to take disciplinary action against the Director-General, until this is done, the grave concerns expressed by the Auditor-General in his report will continue.

The ACDP insists that the capacity of law enforcement agencies, including those in SARS, the Hawks, the Special Investigating Unit, and the Asset Forfeiture Unit within the National Prosecuting Authority be strengthened to speedily investigate cases of corruption and procurement fund, to speedily prosecute both officials and businesses involved, and speedily recover state funds unlawfully spent. This recommendation was included in Parliament’s report on the Fiscal Framework and Revenue Proposals adopted this week.

Regrettably, the scarceness of clean audits is not surprising when President Zuma has had a palace built at Nkandla.

 

 

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