By Mbono Mdluli | 2019-05-24
In a shocking revelation, the country has recorded 2 900 cases related to the Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence (SODV) Act in a space of seven months.
The shocking statistics were revealed by Mbongeni Mlangeni, a police officer working at the Domestic Violence and Child Protection Unit in the Royal Eswatini Police Service (REPS).
This was during a workshop for MPs on the SODV Act 2018, which was held at Royal Swazi Convention Centre in Ezulwini.
What Mlangeni revealed shocked all the MPs who had attended the workshop, and it made them realise that the country had a problem that needed urgent attention.
Mlangeni was one of the resource persons who were teaching about the SODV Act.
Other resource persons included Principal Crown Counsel Lomvula Hlophe, who heads the Sexual Offences Unit in the DPP’s Office and SWAGAA Director Nonhlanhla Dlamini. Mlangeni said many cases that were reported at the police stations were that of domestic violence, which were 2 068.
Domestic violence included abuse of all forms, which included physical, sexual, verbal, emotional, mental and economic abuse.
Other offences that were reported during the period included rape (430), murder (29), kidnapping (3), flashing (2), sexual harassment (123), unlawful stalking (4), inspiring a belief of sexual assault (1), abduction (57) and sexual grooming (1).
Other cases that were reported included maintaining sexual relations with children (23), people who compelled children to have a desire to have sexual intercourse, and those who committed sexual assault (75).
Mlangeni said it was unfortunate that he did not have the statistics of the past two years with him. Those, according to the police officer, were shocking.
He urged the MPs to embrace the SODV Act because it was there to protect everyone in the country, because it had been noted that people, especially girls and women, were no longer safe.
He further promised that as police officers, they were going to investigate cases before they made arrests, because they knew how painful it was to be arrested for nothing.
He further said from last week, police officers were undergoing vigorous training on the Act, so that they could be able to understand the contents of the law.
He said station commanders and desk officers were also in line to be trained on this law from next week onwards.
He further told the MPs that the law also compelled the police to exercise responsibility, so that they would not appear as people who were not applying themselves in doing their work.
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