South African Deputy Minister Monitors COVID-19 Regulations … Okays Sexual Offences Court Function

Deputy Minister in the Presidency,  Thembi Siweya on Friday witnessed first-hand the implementation of COVID-19 plans at a sexual offences court in Limpopo.

The Deputy Minister was pleased with the level of compliance at the Nebo Magistrate Court.

Siweya, who visited the court said it is necessary that dedicated sexual offences courts continue to function optimally as they are among the critical government interventions introduced to fight gender-based violence and femicide.

Since the declaration of the national lockdown, the court has recorded 47 sexual offences cases and finalized 23 cases.

This court services over 300 villages in and around the Makhuduthamaga local municipality.

During the engagement with the Executive Mayor and Court Management, Siweya noted a concern that was raised with regard to the intermittent supply of water to the court.

“Access to water is important for the dignity of our people and its key in the fight against the Coronavirus. The court will not be able to function without water and this will have a bearing on other human rights such as access to justice. We must find a lasting solution,” she said.

She further called solutions to the court’s water challenge.

As a result, the municipality has committed to work with court management to develop a standard water supply schedule.

“We welcome the Executive Mayor’s commitment. We will send a team from the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation to monitor the implementation of the schedule in the municipality.

“At the same time, we will liaise with the Department of Water and Sanitation, Department of Justice and Constitutional Development provincial stakeholders and municipality to find a lasting solution,” said the Deputy Minister.

The visit to the court was a response to the President’s pronouncement that all Ministers and Deputy Ministers will be deployed to various districts in the country to monitor compliance with COVID-19 regulations.

Siweya has been allocated the Sekhukhune District as a site of monitoring and will target various service delivery centres to ensure compliance with the regulations.

The programme is also part of the ongoing frontline monitoring of government services by the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME).

She urged all officials, to serve as ambassadors in the fight against COVID-19.

“Let us all comply to the health protocol and COVID-19 regulations. Our centres must be decontaminated on a regular basis to ensure that they are virus free and remain operational.

“This dedicated Sexual Offence Court in particular must remain functional to assist in dealing with the scourge of gender-based violence,” the Deputy Minister said. –SAnews.gov.za

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