The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) was, in light of the current scourge of gender-based violence, offering assistance to victims who were undergoing court proceedings.
The senior public prosecutor or the court preparation manager would identify an appropriate court preparation officer who would assist them.
“If you have suffered at the hands of a perpetrator and in need of support, the NPA has specialised service to assist you when you go to court,” said NPA north Gauteng regional spokesperson Lumka Mahanjana.
“This service is aptly known as the ‘Ke Bona Lesedi (I see the light) Court Preparation Programme’ and is available at most pure sexual offences courts and other courts dealing with gender-based violence.
“The service offering does not promise a particular outcome in the case and each individual’s experience is unique, nonetheless, it assists with restored dignity and empowerment of the victim,” she said.
A total of 161 court preparation officers were to be situated at courts dealing with gender-based violence throughout the country.
“You may contact the court preparation manager in your province who will refer you to court preparation officer for assistance,” said Mahanjana.
“Don’t perish from a lack of knowledge. Be aware of your rights and services available to you and your family.”
Mahanjana said they had to work together with police, prosecutors and courts to ensure those who hurt and abused others were arrested and convicted.
“Report all cases of rape, sexual assault or any form of violence to a local police station or call the toll-free crime stop number 08600-1000.
“Gender-based violence does not discriminate – any person of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion or gender can be a victim or perpetrator of gender-based violence. Only as a united force, when we stand together as a team, will we be able to fight the scourge of gender-based violence.”
Other important contact numbers Mahanjana said were important to keep include:
- Gender-based violence command centre: 0800-428-428 or *120*7867#
- Persons with disabilities: SMS “help” to 31531
- Woman abuse helpline: 0800-150-50
- Childline SA: 0800-0550-555
- Aids helpline: 0800-012-322
This article first appeared on Rekord and was republished with permission.