All police stations now have sufficient rape evidence collection kits, Police Minister Bheki Cele assured the National Assembly on Wednesday.
In September, Cele said all police stations would have the kits by October 14. However, he missed the deadline, despite President Cyril Ramaphosa having said he would monitor this himself.
When Ramaphosa answered questions in the National Council of Provinces on October 10, DA MP Cathy Labuschagne asked him to undertake that this would indeed be the case.
“We are now on a drive to ensure all police stations will have their own rape kits,” Ramaphosa said.
“I will monitor this myself,” he said, without committing to a date. Two weeks later, when Ramaphosa answered questions in the National Assembly, DA MP Siviwe Gwarube said the money allocated to fight gender-based violence meant nothing if the police couldn’t gather evidence.
She said Cele hadn’t met the deadline he set for when each police station was supposed to have had the rape evidence collection kits for adults and children. 76% of police stations didn’t have adult kits, and 69% didn’t have kits for children.
Ramaphosa said he was “really, really disturbed” to hear this and promised to speak to the minister.
“I want to put the minister on the spot,” he said.
On Wednesday, Cele was answering questions in the National Assembly, when DA MP Andrew Whitfield asked him whether all the stations now had the kits.
“All provinces have no single police station that is minus the kits at the moment,” Cele said.
“All police stations have enough kits.”
Whitfield then asked why he had not met the initial deadline.
Cele said some of the kits had to be taken away from stations to family violence, child protection and sexual offences units.
He said there now was a contract in place for the provision of the kits for the next three years.