ACT140324: Report of the Portfolio Committee on Women, Children, Youth and People with Disabilities on oversight visit held in Limpopo Province from the 04 – 06 August 2010 dated 12 March 2014
of the Portfolio Committee on Women, Children, Youth and People with
Disabilities on oversight visit held in Limpopo Province from the 04 06
August 2010 dated 12 March 2014
The Portfolio Committee on Women, Children, Youth and
People with Disabilities, having undertaken an oversight visit to Limpopo
Province reports as follows:
The Portfolio Committee on Women, Children, Youth and
People with Disabilities undertook an oversight visit to the Limpopo Province
from 04 06 August 2010. The Committee met with the Thohoyandou Victim
Sexual Offences Court,
Trauma Centre based at
Hospital, Thohoyandou Police Station, Trauma Centre based at Donald Fraser
Hospital and Projects funded by the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA)
such as Gym4U,
Graphic Design and SARMASH
The objectives of the visit were to assess the
services of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development and Police
and the impact of the youth projects funded by the National Youth Development
The delegation of the Committee comprised the
National Congress (ANC)
Ms P Petersen
Ms B Thompson (leader of the delegation)
Ms P Duncan
Ms D Robinson
of the People (COPE)
Christian Democratic Party (ACDP)
The Committee was accompanied by the following
Ms N Nobatana, Committee Secretary, Committee Section
Ms K Abrahams, Committee Researcher, Research Unit
Researcher, Research Unit
Mr Johnny van der Westhuizen, Committee Assistant,
The Committee met with the following delegation:
F Nicholson, Programme Director, Thohoyandou Victim Empowerment Programme
, Manager: Access to Justice Cluster, TVEP
, Clinical Manager, Donald Fraser Hospital
, Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO),
Donald Fraser Hospital
Cluster Commander, South African Police Station
South African Police Service
, Chief Prosecutor,
Sexual Offences Court
J Makhado, Owner (Gym4U), National Youth Development Agency (NYDA)
, Owner (
Graphic Design), NYDA
Owner (SARMARSH Trading), NYDA.
4. MEETING WITH THOHOYANDOU
VICTIM EMPOWERMENT PROGRAMME (TVEP)
The Committee was welcomed by the programme director and the trustee of
the empowerment centre. A brief background was provided to the Committee on the
establishment of the empowerment centre. The Committee was informed that the
centre is operated by 30 staff members and 46 local volunteers who assist in
the building of the in house capacity. The objectives are as follows:
To create a supportive
environment of victims of sexual assaults, domestic violence, child abuse
and the HIV/AIDS pandemic;
To inform, educate and
capacitate the community about their rights and responsibilities
pertaining to sexual assaults, domestic violence, child abuse and HIV/AIDS;
To capacitate and
rehabilitate victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, child abuse and
The organisation has assisted 40 rape victims and 80 domestic violence
cases every month since opening in 2001.
58% of all rape survivors are children and 38% are under the age of 13
according to the centre. It received funding from the Department of Social
Department but that was considered to be inadequate. The Centre was assisted by
trustees in terms of paying rent and services such as water for offices.
5. SIBASA SEXUAL OFFENCES COURT
was addressed by Mr
, Chief Prosecutor of
the Court. Mr
informed the Committee that
the court was no longer a sexual offences court but was dealing with rape
cases. In terms of staff, the court has 1 contract magistrate dealing with old
and new cases, 1 control prosecutor and 2 prosecutors. The Committee was
informed that the court deals with cases of domestic violence. Domestic
violence cases are also dealt with in different magistrate courts. In terms of
withdrawal of cases, the Committee was informed that the court does not have
records of withdrawals of cases. Regional Courts have records of such
withdrawals. The Committee was informed that the court had 410 cases of rape for
2009. Out of the 410 rape cases, 99 cases were postponed, 127 were withdrawals,
44 people were found guilty,
not guilty and 14
warrants of arrest were issued. In terms of reasons for withdrawal of cases,
the Committee was informed that cases were withdrawn due to the request by the
complainant, cases not properly investigated and others are withdrawn by the
Prosecutors. The major problem highlighted was the shortage of staff. The Court
had two vacancies for Prosecutors and applicants who applied were rejected
because the applicants did not apply for the appropriate court e.g.
Court. The court is also not well resourced in terms
of offices and computers. The issue of shortage of social workers was
highlighted but the Committee was informed that the Department of Justice and
Constitutional Development was dealing with the issue.
6. TSHILIDZINI THUTHUZELA TRAUMA CENTRE
Centre deals with victims of domestic violence. It is accommodated at
hospital. The Committee visited the centre and
were later addressed by Dr
The doctor informed the Committee that the
hospital offers the following services to victims of domestic violence:
Debriefing to victims of abuse;
Examine victims when in hospital and offer them
Refer victims to social workers, police officials
and to the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development for assistance;
Provide short term accommodation to victims of
was informed that the hospital collaborates with the Department of Police which
assist victims in terms of transport to courts and making statements to police
officials. The hospital works with the police officials in terms of
transporting victims from their home to the hospital. Furthermore, the
Committee was also informed that the hospital and the trauma centre handles
about 40 rape cases per day. The number of rape cases is also determined by the
time of the month i.e. these incidents happens towards the end of the month.
The Committee was informed that mostly girls are sexually assaulted and mostly
boys from prisons are sexually assaulted. Between May July 2010, the
following rape cases were reported:
May: 36 cases
were reported, 1 male and the rest were females range from 6-82 years old.
June: 32 cases
aged between 5 13 years and the oldest was
80 years old.
July: 2 males, 5
year old child and a person with a disability.
was informed that the following were challenges faced by the hospital:
Withdrawal of cases by the victims;
Office space limited resulting in services not
being rendered to the victims;
Shelter for victims - building currently used to
accommodate victims is problematic because of materials used to build the
not available in hospital. The hospital trained 3 nurses to be forensic nurses
but the staff have resigned and moved to other institutions.
The hospital has 6 social workers and one auxiliary
worker dealing with victims of domestic violence and one psychologist and
sometimes requests district psychologists for assistance. The hospital has one
gynaecologist and 2 paediatricians to assist children who are abused.
7. DONALD FRASER HOSPITAL
Trauma Centre which is based
at Donald Fraser Hospital. The Committee was addressed by Dr
at the hospital. The Committee was informed that the
hospital offers the following services:
Trauma debriefing to victims of domestic violence
Refers victims to relevant professional
institutions for further assistance and interventions such as social workers,
police, doctors and the magistrate.
Ensures that victims are examined where there are
Offers court support.
Monitor the status of the victims cases to ensure
that justice prevails.
The South African Police assist in transportation
of victims to the magistrate courts for protection orders.
The hospital also plays a crucial role to assist
victims by providing supplementary services.
Accompany victims to collect their belongings for
Victims do not have to go the police stations to
open cases, police officials come to the trauma centre to assist victims to lay
charges against perpetrators.
Victims are also of the status of their cases and
victims report their cases of abuse.
were highlighted as follows:
Withdrawal of cases by victims which might be the
cause for circle of abuse.
Shortage of office space including the play room
No shelter around the district for victims of abuse
except for the safe house which does not provide long term accommodation.
8. VISIT TO THE NATIONAL YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
AGENCY ON THE 5 AUGUST 2010
Committee visited the Gym4U,
Trading - all projects funded by the
National Youth Development Agency. The Committee was accompanied by Mr B
and Mr Percy
from the National Youth Development Agency.
project is lead by Mr Junior Makhado, who manages two gyms in Thohoyandou and
Polokwane. Mr Junior Makhado received assistance from the NYDA through the
business consultancy voucher programme where he received a business plan
voucher. He also received R1.2 million business
from the NYDA Small and Medium Enterprise programme. The gym employed 46
project is operated by
who is an NYDA beneficiary and a service provider. The owner operates a graphic
design and computer training studio. He received assistance through the
business consultancy service voucher programme and received a tendering voucher
valued at R4.500. He supports other young people with graphic design through
the same voucher programme and employs two people.
sewing/clothing manufacturing shop and received R25.604 microfinance loan from
the Agency. She employs four people.
the hospitals and police station, the Committee made the following observations:
Shortage of staff which includes forensic nurses,
psychologists and social workers to deal with victims of domestic violence.
Shortage of shelters to accommodate victims of
domestic violence for long term purposes.
Lack of understanding by police officials on
dealing with victims of domestic violence and the Domestic Violence Act, 1998.
deliberated on observations, the Committee made the following recommendations:
The Department of Health and Social Development should
employ more forensic nurses, psychologists and social workers to assist victims
of domestic violence in hospitals.
The Department of Human Settlements and Social
Development should ensure that accommodation for victims of abuse is adequate
and available for long term purposes.
The Department of Police should provide training to
police officials on the Domestic Violence Act, 1998.
undertaken the oversight visit, the Committee concludes that it will raise
issues of concern of police stations and hospitals to the National Assembly
House in Parliament.
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