Ramaphosa made the call in his weekly news letter, from the desk of the president on Monday following the torching of at least 55 schools across Gauteng since the start of the national lockdown.
“When communities allow themselves to be passive bystanders when they witness crime, they become party to the sabotage that ultimately disadvantages ourselves,our children and our communities.”
The president also revealed that since the covid-19 outbreak,Gender Based Violence (GBV)has become a global problem.
“It is disturbing that during a time of such immense difficulty for our country, women and girls are being terrorised inside their own homes, forcing them to make desperate calls for help. The number of calls to the GBV National Command Centre has increased since the lockdown began on March 27,”
He has directed police minister Bheki Cele to ensure that the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Units are reinforced at all police stations during the lockdown and beyond.
“I have a message for those callous criminals who think they can take advantage. The criminal justice system is not on leave. Our law enforcement authorities will deal with those who transgress the law. You will be arrested, you will be tried and you will be put behind bars.”
The Interim Steering Committee on GBV and Femicide in consultation with civil society organisations is developing guidelines for GBV management in the context of Covid-19.
To date police have arrested and charged 148 suspects for crimes related to GBV.
President Ramaphosa has extended the nationwide lock down by a further two weeks until the end of April, in an effort to contain the rapid spread of the virus which has claimed 25 lives, leaving 2173 people infected.
Written by: Y